Showing posts with label snakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snakes. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letter of the Day: May 18

[The venom of the Heterodon platirhinos (aka Eastern Hognose Snake, Puff Adder, Hissing Adder, Spreading Adder, Blow Viper, Hissing Sand Snake) is non-threatening to humans, but can cause a mild allergic reaction in some. According to the University of Florida "The Hognose Snake is renowned for its 'death feigning' behavior. When threatened, it flattens its head and neck and hisses loudly. It may strike, but only with its mouth closed. If it is further harassed, it will flip on its back and convulse for a short period and may defecate and regurgitate its food. It will then remain motionless with its belly up, mouth open, and tongue hanging out.[...] [Native Floridians] call the banded form of the Hognose Snake a "Puff Adder" and correctly believe it to be harmless. However, the black form of the Hognose Snake is called a "Spreading Adder" and is wrongly believed to be deadly. Another old myth says that the Hognose Snake can mix venom with its breath and is thus able to kill a person from a distance of twenty-five feet. In truth, its breath is harmless."]

Smithsonian Correspondence

United States National Museum
Under the Direction of
The Smithsonian Institution
Washington, May 18, 1883.
Surgeon General Charles H. Crane:
Medical Bureau,
War Department.

Dear Sir:

At the request of Dr. Henry G. Yarrow, Honorary Curator, Department of Reptiles, I have the pleasure to present herewith to the Army Medical Museum a specimen of a blowing viper, Heterodon platyrhinus [Heterodon platirhinos], having certain morbid growths upon different parts of its body. I enclose a copy of a memorandum sent to Dr. Yarrow by Dr. J.C. McConnell, relative to the nature of the pathological structure.

Your very respectfully,
Spencer Baird
Director: U.S. Nat'l Museum

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letter of the Day: September 14

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 6989


Surgeon General’s Office,

U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library,

Corner 7th and B Streets SW.,

Washington, September 14, 1903.


To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army.




I have the honor to request authority to purchase for deposit in the Army Medical Museum:


1 head of viper greatly enlarged showing the fangs, poison glands and muscles, and demonstrating the mechanism of this apparatus. Cost ……..$24.00 to be paid for from the Museum appropriation.


Very respectfully,


C.L. Heizmann

Col. Asst. Surgeon General, U.S. A.

In charge of Museum & Library Division.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Letter of the Day: March 28 (1 of 2)

Mt. Vernon Bks, Ala
Mch 28, 1875

Curator Army Medical Museum
Washington D.C.


Would a collection of the snakes of this region be of any value to the Museum? Or of the Flora? If so, please answer & oblige.

Your obt. Servt,

Jos. K. Corson
Asst. Surg. U.S.A.