1 Tahrcountry Musings: The Science Behind the Raising of the Hood by Cobras.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Science Behind the Raising of the Hood by Cobras.

The latest issue Journal of Experimental Biology has some fascinating information about the science behind the raising of hood by cobras.
By measuring the electrical activity from the snakes' muscles, the scientists were able to zoom in on the precise group of muscles used by cobras to raise the hoods. The rib bones and the muscles that work them are used for the display.
 The scientists wanted to find out the way in which the ribs were freed up to rotate into the presentation position, and how the muscles were used to accomplish display and then return to a relaxed position.
The researchers implanted tiny electrodes into the snake's neck muscles, with the animal anaesthetized. Once the snake recovered the scientist were ready for filming and recording the muscle activity as the animal flared its neck. They found that eight muscles were involved in "hooding".
The scientist say cobras are not the only snakes to hood and want to crack the mechanism behind these other snakes raising of hoods.

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