Pit vipers are the most common venomous snakes in the United States and include all rattlesnakes. Western hognoses are especially popular with keepers and breeders alike. These scavengers are notorious for going through garbage, hunting everything from snakes to mice, and lurking near road kill. When a snake bites into the skin, it will cause serious damage to the tissue in that area. The first bit of research on the topic was done in the 1940s and was followed up again the early 1990s, but current researcher Claire F. Komives from San Jose State University says no one followed up on the studies to create a working antivenom therapy since then. Aside from giving us the phrase "to play possum," it could be argued opossums haven't really contributed all that much to human society. If all this wasn’t enough evidence for you that the opossum deserves an award for its service to humanity, know that opossums are also some of the animal kingdom’s most devoted mothers. They are wonderful to have in your yard! “In fact, they’re fastidious groomers.” And the ticks make “nice little protein packets” for the opossum to eat, he says. They are about 2.5 feet (76 centimeters), nose to tail, and weigh 8.8 to 13.2 lbs. With an average lifespan of a year or two, opossums are only on this planet for a short time. Opossum’s May Hold The Key To Curing Snake Bites. Though opossums can bite pets, the larger threat is in the diseases they may carry. And although adult opossums may not be blessed with pulchritude, baby opossums are adorable. Because scavengers have advanced immune systems, they can feed on the carrion without catching the otherwise potentially deadly diseases. They’re the United States’ only native marsupial, but they’re virtually nobody’s favorite animal. They enlisted the help of bacteria E. coli, which they reprogrammed to produce the peptide. “Despite, again, their appearance and stereotype, they’re not filthy animals,” says Mizejewski. The research will be presented on March 23 at the 249th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the theme of which is "The Chemistry of Natural Resources.". Opossums are typically placid creatures, though, and generally will bite only if the opossum feels threatened, especially if cornered, or if it thinks that its young are in danger. “Opossums will bite sometimes, but their natural tendency is to employ other methods of avoiding potential threats.”. The Opossum is able to withstand up to 80 Rattlesnake or Coral Snake bites. The Opossum is able to withstand up to 80 Rattlesnake or Coral Snake bites. Virginia opossums eat almost anything, from bird eggs to acorns, from slugs and frogs to fruit. Will an opossum bite my children? Possums can hunt snakes if they choose to because they have a peptide in their blood that can act against a snake’s venom. Interestingly enough, the scientists don't know exactly how the peptides work their antivenom magic. We're a nonprofit (so it's tax-deductible), and reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget. Opossum’s May Hold The Key To Curing Snake Bites. Intriguingly, opossums shrug off snake bite venom with no ill effects. We noticed you have an ad blocker on. They all died. Thanks to them, there is a new and very inexpensive antidote for many different snake venom. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. 2. As discussed in the earlier sections, possums don’t fancy eating snakes. Thanks to him, there is an Antidote to snake venom. Yep, immune. Rapid death is often the outcome. Do not touch the head of the snake because dead snakes can still bite. The treatment worked and the mice were protected from any ill effects. Beware of Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol.