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The Serious Six




The copperhead is one of six deadly snakes in Arkansas.

Photo Copyright Amanda Galiano
Snakes conjure up unfriendly mental images. Many people think they're evil creatures that were put on Earth to kill humans. That couldn't be further from the truth! Most snakes are harmless and even helpful. Snakes help control rat and mouse populations and provide a food source for birds of prey and other animals that humans consider desirable.

If that's not comforting, check the statistics. Snake bites only kill about 7 people in the United States every year. You have a better chance of getting killed by falling off your bed (about 600 people are killed every year from falling off of furniture). Snakes do not see humans as food and they will not strike unless they feel threatened. Put down the pitch forks and shovels, and let the garter snake in your backyard be. He doesn't want to see you any more than you want to see him.

Arkansas only has 6 venomous snakes. Five of these have hemotoxic venom. This venom acts by rupturing blood cells and causing swelling and tissue destruction locally. Hemotoxic venom can lead to septicemia (blood poisoning) and organ failure. One, the coral snake, has neurotoxic venom. This venom acts on nerve cells and can cause organ system failure with little to no local irritation.

Without further adieu, here are Arkansas' venomous snakes from least to most dangerous. The most dangerous are on page 3. The least dangerous are on page 2.

Related Video
Identifying Poisonous Snakes

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