Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Sunday, July 1, 2012

ACCIDENTS WITH VENOMOUS SPECIES IN BRAZIL

"There's no such thing as a villain in nature. Every animal in an ecosystem has a function that helps maintain the equilibrium of its habitat". Professor Marcos Ferreira Santos, head of Instituto Butantan´s cultural development section.


The Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been one of the world's leading experts on venomous snakes for the past 100 years. Its development of antidotal serums has helped save the lives of many snakebite victims over the years. The institute´s  laboratories display a state-of-the-art serum production plant which is computer controlled and completely enclosed for bio-safety. The product range has now been extended to include vaccines for rabies, diphtheria, tetanus and TB, among others, as well as drugs used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, 


Accidents with venomous species are fairly spotty. Only way to stay safe is to get educated and informed about the danger around you, sometimes coming from the alive creatures smaller than your finger tip. 


Meet some of the main venomous Brazilian animals and their habits:


SCORPIONS:


They hide close to houses, in empty lots, old buildings, piles of debris, wood and lumber stacks, bricks, thickets and garbage. 
They are usually also found at sewage outlets, drains and grease spots. 
Reproductive season: from September to November


They feed on: cockroaches and grasshoppers.
Natural Predators:  Owls, monkeys, frogs, chickens and geese.
The venom of Brazilian yellow scorpions seems to be the most toxic venom of all scorpions, which affects the peripheral human nervous system causing pain, stinging, heartbeat increase and lowering the body temperature. These symptoms will affect more the body with less weight, for example children.


SERPENTS:  


To avoid accidents, best practice is not to have debris, organic matter and construction materials closeby, and clean neighboring empty lots around 1 to 2 meters next to fences or walls close to houses. 


They feed on: mainly  rodents which may come close to human dwellings for easy food.
Natural Predators:  falcons, owls, sparrow-hawks, and a black snake named muçuarana, or mussurana, which feeds on other snakes.
Occurrences: dense woodland and rainforest areas, but also on farmland with only sparse vegetation. They are  found all over Brazil.


SPIDERS:

One of the most poisonous spiders is the brown one, known as "aranha marrom".
It likes undisturbed places like garages, and wood or rock piles, but is frequently found in the house behind wardrobes or pictures on the walls, in clothes or linen piles, cupboards and under beds. They are nocturnal creatures and if the male goes hunting at night, it can often be found in temporary cover, like footwear or drawers.
Their webs show a highly irregular design, unlike the other spiders.
Occurrences: State of Paraná




CATERPILLARS:  

The caterpillar is covered in tiny hairs, and all these are attached to venom glands, and once anything comes into contact with the very sharp hairs, they are injected with venom.
They dwell on tree trunks, fruits on fruit trees, leaves and twigs.
Symptoms of caterpillar hair poisoning are nausea, rashes, blisters, abdominal pains, swelling, burning sensations, numbness, chest pains, difficulty in breathing.
For more info, refer to:





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