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Pit Vipers found to have Heat Seeking Fangs

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posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 10:06 PM
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www.physorg.com...

Well not literally that is ...
But still really cool.



Call it a sixth sense, or evolution’s gift to these cold-blooded reptiles: some snakes have infrared vision. Also called “heat vision,” the infrared rays, which have longer wavelengths than those of visible light, signify the presence of warm-blooded prey in 3 dimensions, which helps snakes aim their attacks. Pit vipers and boids, the two snake types that possess this ability, have heat-sensitive membranes that can detect the difference in temperature between a moving prey—such as a running mouse—and its surroundings on the scale of milliKelvins.

The detection system, which consists of cavities located on each side of the head called “pit organs,” operates on a principle similar to that of a pinhole camera, explain scientists Andreas Sichert, Paul Friedel and J. Leo van Hemmen in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. A pinhole camera is a camera without a lens, where light from an image passes through a very small hole. Similarly, a pit organ’s aperture is about 1 mm—large enough to allow the snake to quickly detect moving prey. Some scientists (de Cock Buning) even suggest that pythons—a type of boid—have a variety of differently shaped pit organs, each serving a different biological function.


This is just freaking crazy, and just serves to increase my already considerable respect for the Snakes(especially the Pit Vipers and Pythons
).

[edit on 31-8-2006 by sardion2000]

[edit on 31-8-2006 by sardion2000]




posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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Chalk one more cool thing onto the list of what snakes can do.

I always sorta thought snakes has heatsensing membranes anyways,
so it's not suprisinf to me.

Good find Sardion.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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Let it be said that nature is infinitely more complex than human beings can hope to be. I mean regardless if you believe in evolution or creation this is truly amazing. I just can't wait 'till our technology evolves more so that we are able to detect what other things nature has been using.



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