Snakes on the brain

In the evolutionary conflict between predatory snakes and their prey, many mammals responded by developing a physiological resistance to snake venom.According to Lynne Isbell , instead of building up immunity ,primates responded by evolving a visual system that allows them to detect a snake before it makes a deadly strike.Within the visual system,there are cells that seem to be responsive to the cues that snakes give off, like their scale patterns and their long shapes.

Isbell posits that snakes were likely to have been the first predators of placental mammals and therefore ultimately guided the development of the primate brain.

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