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Snake history

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posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 07:37 PM
Being so excited about my new idea Of snakes of the week, I neglected to give some history on snakes, So in this thread I will talk about snakes and how thier symbolism differs from culture to culture.

Small Facts
The first mention of a snake like animal was in the bible, and in my opinion this is the reason for the hate of snakes by most, being betrayed as an evil creature not to be trusted.

Today most know that snakes and reptiles in general are a vidal part of the food chain. Any example of this, here in Chicago we had a trash strike for 6 weeks, the rat population mutiplied by the thousands, If we had a health amount of snakes we would have to rodent population in check, but never the less people fear what they don't under stand.

Only 1/4 of snakes have fangs, yes all snakes have backward facing teeth, but fangs are serange like teeth thet inject venom, but not every time, injection rates vary some as low as 10% of the time up to 65 percent of the time depending on the snake.


Many countries, tribes, third world countrys what ever you would call them have high regards for the serpent.


Based on these fossil finds, as well as on anatomical study of modern reptiles, scientists have concluded that the snakes probably evolved from a family of lizards during the time of the dinosaurs. Snakes and lizards share a number of distinct features in the structure of their skull; both, for instance, possess a moveable quadrate bone at the back of the jaw, and both are missing the quadratojugal bone at the rear of the skull.

By about 10 million years ago, the most highly specialized of the snakes appeared in the fossil record--the solenoglyphs, commonly known as vipers. In the vipers, the fangs are extremely long, much larger than in the Elapids. In fact, they are so long that the snake cannot close its mouth if they are erected. Thus, the solenoglyphs use a rotating maxillary bone to fold the fangs up against the roof of the mouth, where they are ready to spring into position when the snake bites. A short time after the vipers appeared, a group known as the pit vipers developed a number of heat-sensitive pits on the front of the face, which they used for finding their warm-blooded prey at night (this feature has also been independently developed by the venerable old Boid family). Finally, just a few million years ago, a group of pit vipers developed a structure at the end of their tail, made up of interlocking pieces of unshed skin, which could be loudly rattled and used as a warning device against predators. The rattlesnakes are generally thought to be the most specialized of all the living snakes.

The Year Of The Snake
People born in the Year of the Snake are deep. They say little and possess great wisdom. They never have to worry about money; they are financially fortunate. Snake people are often quite vain, selfish, and a bit stingy. Yet they have tremendous sympathy for others and try to help those less fortunate. Snake people tend to overdo, since they have doubts about other people's judgment and prefer to rely on themselves. They are determined in whatever they do and hate to fail. Although calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. Snake people are usually good-looking and sometimes have marital problems because they are fickle. They are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster.

Nehebkau (Nehebu-Kau, Nehebkhau), 'He Who Unites the Kas', was a benevolent snake god who the Egyptians believed was one of the original primeval gods. He was linked to the sun god, swimming around in the primeval waters before creation, then bound to the sun god when time began. He was a god of protection who protected the pharaoh and all Egyptians, both in life and in the afterlife.
Homage to thee, Netethib, daughter of these four gods who are in the Great House. Even when the command of Unas goes not forth, uncover yourselves in order that Unas may see you as Horus seeth Isis, as Nehebkau seeth Serqet, as Sobek seeth Nit, and as Set seeth Netethib.

I will end with the place I started, Australia : RAINBOW-SNAKE

RAINBOW-SNAKE: The Great Creator Serpent, in charge of Fertility, Growth and Refreshing Rain. It's a bit of a mish-mash, with a kangaroo's head, a crocodile's tail and a python's body, all decorated with water lilies and waving tendrils.

The Snake has many names and comes in male and female form. YINGARNA, the female, is the original Mother of Creation, and her son NGALYOD is the Great Transformer of Land. Family portraits go back 8,000 years, which makes the Rainbow Snake one of the oldest religious symbols. And it's still going strong today.

I guess the point i am trying to make is that many many diffrenet people of the world have seen snakes as some other than from this planet. SO i ask I you see one, First look at the heat ifits a tryangle turn away, If he has slits for eyes turn away. There are a few that dont have sny of those feachers and are deadly, we will begoing over every snake I can do research on, it can be your one stop shop for snake info.

Have a nice day, Spittin.

posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 11:15 AM
A researcher who says snake venom developed in a single evolutionary event between 60 and 80 million years ago has revealed why Australian snakes are so deadly.

Dr Bryan Fry of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne told a genetics conference this week that DNA analysis showed venom originated from one ancestral type.

This became a trigger for snakes to evolve from large, heavy python-types into faster and more agile types.

"In order for them to dump the really heavy muscle that they were using to kill their prey they need something to replace it," he said.

"The evolution of venom allowed them to become more gracile and athletic."

He said taipans and brown snakes were close relations despite being very different.

"The taipan is 50 times more toxic than a cobra," Fry said, and the key to that toxicity lay in a combination of ecology and chance.

He said Australian snakes recruited a potent blood enzyme called factor Xa into their venom after colonising the continent about 15 to 20 million years ago

Australian snakes

Only eyes for the stupid

Many English people won't holiday in Australia for fear of snakes. Perhaps this fear is understandable considering that Australia has the ten most venomous snakes in the world and the most intimidating wildlife a Pom has ever encountered is a ruminating cow.

But although Australian snakes are venomous, they are not dangerous unless someone does something silly like try to catch or kill them. They are timid creatures that flee if a human gets within about five meters of them. If they are accidentally stepped on, their first reaction is to escape, and second is to bite. If they do bite after being startled, they usually don't inject venom.

But like every country, there are silly people in Australia and so snakebites do occur. One example of such sillyness occurred when a Darwin man was having a few beers with his mate while driving home from Mandorah. Along the side of the road he spotted a King Brown and decided to catch it for the Mandorah Pub's fish tank. As his right hand was being used to hold his beer, he grabbed it with his left and was subsequently bitten. He threw the snake in a plastic bag but for some reason, then decided to stick his hand into the bag and was duly bitten another eight times.

As the poison went to work, his mate applied first aid by pouring beer over his head and whacking him across the face. It wasn't an effective treatment as he ended up in a coma for six weeks. His left arm withered and died and had to be amputated. On the positive side, he still kept the use of his right arm for holding his beers in the future.

Yet despite such would-be Steve Irwins wanting to see their life flash before their eyes, and many drunk Aussies taking off their clothes and running naked through the bush after a B&S ball, only 0.13 of every million deaths in Australia are the result of a snake bite.

Snake myths that have fooled gullible people

The Death Adder has a sting in its tail.
Snakes hypnotise their prey.
Tiger Snakes chase people.
Snakes milk cows.
If you kill one of a pair of Tiger Snakes, its mate will hunt you down to take its revenge.
In Australia, there is a Hoop Snake that takes its tail in its mouth and then goes bowling merrily along.

Most toxic venom - The most toxic snake venom on mice is the Inland Taipan (Fierce Snake). Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice.
Taipan size - The Taipan's average length is 2.5 meters, although they have been known to grow to 3.3 meters.
Most venomous yield - Australia's most venomous (yield) snake is the King Brown. The snake is believed to have been involved in 22 of the past 38 deaths attributed to snakebite.
Most venomous Australian snakes - Fierce Snake, King Brown, Taipan, Eastern Tiger, Riesvie Tiger, Beaked Sea Snake, Western Tiger Snake, Giant Black Tiger Snake, Death Adder, Western Brown snake.

[edit on 10-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]

[edit on 10-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]

posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 10:48 AM
How could the ancient Egyptians have adored the loathsome snake? First a distinction must be made between symbols and things symbolized. The snake- specifically the cobra snake -was the symbol of one of the most important Egyptian gods. This almost constitutes a definition of idolatry, but never mind; the prejudice against the belief in idols is a modern judgment. We have seen winners of the Academy Award stroke and kiss the Oscar. We may overlook the hint of idolatry with the understanding that it is not the statue which is the object of attention, but what the statue stands for. In a like manner the Egyptians overlooked the implied worship of dangerous snakes as show.

What, then, did the cobra of Egypt represent that made the snake cults acceptable to them? It is important to note that the most venerated of the Egyptian gods was Ra, and that he was symbolized by a man-like figure crowned with the sun disk, surrounded by a serpent. This symbol, in turn, was venerated as Uraeus. What has been overlooked in the popular interest in things Egyptian is the relationship between the Uraeus and Ra. For reasons which will become clearer, this minor deity may be understood as the offspring of Ra, much as the Greeks had it that Athena was born from the forehead of Zeus.


Scorpions and Cobras are depicted in the ancient petroglyphs
from the Negev region in Israel's Southern desert.


Moses responded and said: "But they will not believe me and they will not heed my voice, for they will say, 'God did not appear to you.'"
And God said to him: "What is in your hand?"
Moses said: "A staff."
God said: "Cast it on the ground."
And he cast it on the ground, and it became a snake, and Moses fled from it.
(Shemot 4:1-3)

The Ophites made a very special cult of these reptiles: they kept and fed them in baskets; they held their meetings close to the holes in which they lived. They arranged loaves of bread upon a table, and then, by means of incantations, they allured the snake until it came coiling its way among these offerings; and only then did they partake of the bread, each one kissing the muzzle of the reptile they had charmed. This, they claimed, was the perfect sacrifice, the true Eucharist.

The Ophites reputedly said:

"We venerate the serpent because God has made it the cause of Gnosis for mankind. Ialdabaoth (the Demiurge who was the 'god of the Jews') did not with men to have any recollection of the Mother or of the Father on high. It was the serpent, who by tempting them, brought them Gnosis; who taught the man and the woman the complete knowledge of the mysteries from on high. That is why [its] father Ialdabaoth mad with fury, cast it down from the heavens."

posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 02:51 PM
The snake ranks sacred second only to the cow. Because of its swift and gliding movement, scaly skin, hypnotic eyes and poisonous bite, it is feared and therefore the subject of myth and legend. Inevitably, it was worshipped in the hope that veneration would make it protect and not harm its devotees. Snake worship forms an important part of mythology, especially in southern India.

Eight pre-eminent snakes from mythology are: Shesha, Adisesha or Seshnaga, whose name literally means 'residue', is believed to have been born of what was left after the universe and its inhabitants had been created. Revered as the king of the snakes, he has a 1,000 heads ('sahasrashirsha') which form a massive hood. He is believed to be Vishnu's couch, and his hood shelters the god during the periodic deluges. Earth is said to rest on Seshnaga .He is believed to spew venomous fire that destroys all creation at the end of each kalpa, and is worshipped as a manifestation of Vishnu. Ananta, literally 'endless', is a very long snake, encircling all earth and therefore symbolising eternity. Believed to be dark blue in colour, he, too, is regarded as a manifestation of Vishnu.

Vasuki, literally 'of divine being'

..........North American Snake Worship

"Were the original inhabitants of the Americas serpent worshippers? The earth is full of monuments built to serpents. For example, most Americans are startled to discover that the indigenous inhabitants of the New World, the American Indians, were serpent worshippers. There are numerous serpent mounds and carved stones of snakes throughout the Americas. Bill Still in his book New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies shows that America was called initially "The Land of the Plumed Serpents" by the Indians of Peru. James Pyrse researched an article written in the Theosophical Society magazine entitled Lucifer, which gave insight into the word "America." James Pyrse says that the chief god of the Mayan Indians in Central America was Quettzalcoatl. In Peru this god was called Amaru and the territory known as Amaruca. Now he states: "Amaruca is literally translated "Land of the Plumed Serpents (p. 45)." He claims that the name of America was derived from Amaruca, instead of after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. This further proves that serpent worship was common throughout all cultures."

The snake has been variously adored as a regenerative power, as a god of evil, as a god of good, as Christ (by the Gnostics), as a phallic deity, as a solar deity, and as a god of death. It has also served as the symbol of Satan and many deities, including Apollo and the Egyptian god Ra. Snake worship found expression in both the Toltec and Aztec periods of prehistoric Mexican civilization. In Aztec mythology a half-divine, half-human being descended to earth for a while as the great teacher of mankind; the Aztecs called him the “feathered serpent,” the incarnation of the serpent sun. In Egypt, according to one authority, each temple had a reserved area where snakes were kept. In Greek religion the snake was frequently considered divine. Among the Greek Dionysian cults it signified wisdom and was a symbol of fertility
Snake worshipping is an ancient religious practice in India. On Nagapanchami Day, the day of the serpent festival, people offer eggs and milk to snakes. This festival is celebrated by many Indians. On this day, the people worship snake gods with flowers, milk and eggs in front of their idols in temples.

In Karnataka, villagers even go to worship the termite mounds where cobras are believed to be residing. In Bengal some people wrap snakes around their bodies and march along the seashore. In Bihar people roam about in boats in the rivers and with the image of Behra, a young bride whose piety saved her husband from death by snake bite. In Bihar, the Santhal tribes christen their young girls as ‘Visha kanya’ meaning girls with poison. They carry on their necks an ampoule of snake venom and a nail to forstall any attack on her by miscreants. Seals bearing snake symbols can be found in the ancient sites of Harappa and Mohanjodaro. The Jain temples of Rajasthan and Gujarath depict Lord Mahavira performing penance with serpents gliding over his body

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:51 AM
Snake Exhibition for Lunar New Year
A snake culture exhibition was held Sunday in Beijing to mark the coming Chinese Lunar Year of the Snake, which falls on January 24.

The exhibition is divided into 20 parts featuring the origin, classification, propagation of the snake and the history and culture of its images in traditional Chinese folk custom.

At the same time, more than 30 kinds of live snakes and 140 pictures of snake species are on display.

There are 2,500 to 3,000 kinds of snakes in the world, 600 kinds are vipers. China has 200 kinds of snakes, in which 40 are vipers.

Since ancient times, the Chinese have been using 12 kinds of fictitious or real-life animals such as the mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit and dragon to symbolize each of every 12 years.

Snake Mythology
Cows, monkeys and dogs are revered by some cultures yet consumed as food by others. So, too, snakes are respected in some parts of the world and despised in others. The way that people feel about snakes is heavily influenced by cultural beliefs and mythology.

Some cultures held snakes in high esteem as powerful religious symbols. Quetzalcoatl, the mythical "plumed serpent," was worshipped as the "Master of Life" by ancient Aztecs of Central America. Some African cultures worshipped rock pythons and considered the killing of one to be a serious crime. In Australia, the Aborigines associated a giant rainbow serpent with the creation of life.

Other cultures have associated snakes with medicinal powers or rebirth. In India, cobras were regarded as reincarnations of important people called Nagas. Our modern medical symbol of two snakes wrapped around a staff, or 'caduceus,' comes from ancient Greek mythology. According to the Greeks, the mythical figure Aesculapius discovered medicine by watching as one snake used herbs to bring another snake back to life

Judeo-Christian culture has been less kind to snakes. Tales of the Garden of Eden and the serpent's role in "man's fall from grace" have contributed to a negative image of snakes in western culture.
In Appalachia, some Christians handle venomous snakes as part of ritual ceremonies, relying on faith to protect them from bites. Among Catholics, Saint Patrick is credited with ridding Ireland of snakes, a feat celebrated by many as a good thing.

Deep rooted cultural biases may be responsible, in part, for widespread fear and disdain for snakes. However, modern myths, from folk tales to plain old misinformation, also contribute to their negative image.

[edit on 12-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 12:00 PM
Australia's snake variety

Australia has some 140 species of land snake, and around 32 species of sea snakes have been recorded in Australian waters. Some 100 Australian snakes are venomous, although only 12 are likely to inflict a wound that could kill you.

The most dangerous snakes belong to the front-fanged group, which in NSW includes the tiger snake, brown snake, death adder, mulga or king brown snake and a few species of sea snake.

Australia's other snakes are the solid-toothed non-venomous snakes (such as pythons, blind snakes and file snakes) and venomous rear-fanged snakes (such as the brown tree snake and mangrove snakes). All native snakes in NSW are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

How snakes see, smell and hear

Snakes have no eyelids and cannot close their eyes. Their eyes are protected by a clear scale which is part of their skin and functions like a spectacle. Many snakes have excellent eyesight, particularly some of the daytime predators (such as whip snakes), and most have good eyesight at least over short distances.

However, in most snakes the sense of smell is more vital. A snake's main organ of smell is its forked tongue, which it flicks in and out of its mouth. The tongue picks up scent particles from the air and any objects it touches, and transfers them to two depressions in the roof of the mouth. These depressions are unique to reptiles and detect scents transferred to them from the tongue. A snake's nostrils are only used for breathing.

Snakes do not have outer ears – instead they hear with inner ears, which pick up vibrations from the ground through the head and belly scales. Some nocturnal snakes, such as pythons, also have heat sensory pits to help them locate the 'warm' birds and animals they prey on.

How they move

Not having legs, snakes use waves of muscle contractions along their bodies to move. Movement is helped by the belly scales, which catch on any uneven surface – if the ground is very smooth, snakes find it difficult to move in any direction at all. Tree-living snakes, such as pythons, 'shuffle' along horizontal branches in muscular waves which pass along their bodies. Most snakes are good swimmers, and sea snakes have paddle-shaped tails which give them added propulsion in the water.

Sloughing (shedding)

A snake sheds its skin between one and four times each year. It does this by rubbing the front of its head on a rough surface until the skin splits. The snake then slowly sloughs out of the skin, turning it inside out as it does so. In all snakes, the new skin (with the same colours and patterns as the old) is underneath and, when shed, the old skin is almost transparent. When a snake is about to slough, the scale forming the spectacle over its eye will become 'milky', affecting its vision
Following the sun

Snakes are reptiles, which means they are ectothermic: they get their body heat from external sources. Endothermic animals, such as mammals and birds, regulate their body temperature internally. A snake's body temperature – and so its level of activity – is controlled by the temperature of the air and the ground. It will try to maximise body heat, by basking in the sun or lying on or near warm surfaces such as night-time roads or even, on occasion, household water heaters.

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:54 PM
The fangs of most deadly venomous snakes are syringe-like. That is, they are long and thin, hollow and have a bevelled tip. Like a syringe, these fangs have evolved to deliver a liquid (venom) under pressure. Hence the venom can be delivered quickly in a rapid bite. But how did such fangs evolve?

As is often the case with complex adaptations, we can find clues to their evolution in simpler structures that occur in related species. And in snakes, there is a tooth type that looks like a perfect precursor to the syringe-like fang. This tooth is grooved on its outside edge. Were the groove to be closed over by the two sides, a hollow fang would result." target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>" target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>" target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>" target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>

Grooved teeth have evolved in many different kinds of snakes. Generally there is a mild to strong venom associated with these teeth, but because the groove is open, the venom can only "drip" slowly into the wound when the snake bites and chews. Some of these venoms are quite strong, and at least two famous herpetologists (reptile and amphibian biologists) have died from their bite.

posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 07:18 PM
The snake has been variously adored as a regenerative power, as a god of evil, as a god of good, as Christ (by the Gnostics), as a phallic deity, as a solar deity, and as a god of death. It has also served as the symbol of Satan and many deities, including Apollo and the Egyptian god Ra. Snake worship found expression in both the Toltec and Aztec periods of prehistoric Mexican civilization. In Aztec mythology a half-divine, half-human being descended to earth for a while as the great teacher of mankind; the Aztecs called him the “feathered serpent,” the incarnation of the serpent sun. In Egypt, according to one authority, each temple had a reserved area where snakes were kept. In Greek religion the snake was frequently considered divine. Among the Greek Dionysian cults it signified wisdom and was a symbol of fertility. The Greek god most closely associated with snake worship is Apollo; the original name of Apollo's temple at Delphi was Pytho, after the snake Python . In Rome during the period of the empire, a sacred snake was kept within the city and was attended by the vestal virgins; it was believed that if the snake refused to accept food from the hand of one of its attendants, the attendant was no longer a virgin, and she was promptly killed. The ancient Mesopotamians and Semites believed that the snake was immortal because it shed its skin and appeared in a fresh guise. The Indians, Burmese, and Siamese worshiped the snake as a demon who also had good aspects. Primitive Hindu snake cults were incorporated into the worship of Krishna and eventually into the worship of Vishnu. Buddhist legends relate that Buddha was given the true Buddhism by the “king of the serpents” (often seen as the cobra), and Buddhists also revere the regenerative powers the snake exhibits. In China the serpent, in the form of the dragon, figures as a fierce but protective divinity. Snake charming, not to be confused with snake worship, is the art of fascinating, capturing, and controlling serpents

Often the best way to handle an enemy is by befriending him or her. This wisdom runs deeper than it appears for how else would you explain the worship of snakes in Indian mythology. The eerie hiss has been turned into the reverential word with the celebration of Naga Panchami. While this custom was perhaps restricted to the Naga cult or the snake cult, today it is celebrated all over India. Occurring in July-August, naga panchami is celebrated with great gusto in parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

On this day, people fast and in the evening worship an image of the cobra. Sometimes images are made of clay and at other times, painted on the walls and floors. Often people also visit the temple of Siva who wears the snake as an ornament. Milk is offered to the snakes and it is believed that this worship will keep them immune from the danger of snake bites which are such a common feature in the open rural fields.

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