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  • 4/18/2010

Study uncovers cobra 'hooding'

study uncovers cobra hooding

Washington State University researchers have found the mechanism by which cobras spread their neck and create their characteristic 'hood flare.'

According to the study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the cobra's hood evolved as its ribs were 'co-opted' to create the threat display.

Scientists implanted tiny electrodes into the cobra's neck to measure the electrical activity from the snake's muscles.

'We wanted to examine the way in which the ribs were 'freed up' to rotate into this presentation position, and to understand how the muscles were able to accomplish that and return them to a relaxed position,' author of the study Kenneth Kardong told BBC News.

They found that only eight muscles were involved in creating the hood, the same muscles that non-hooding snakes had.

'This is an example of evolution's remodeling derived species emerge,' Kardong said. 'There's been a change in the nervous system's control over these muscles.'

Bruce Young of the University of Massachusetts Lowell explained that there were different types of snake with the ability to create hoods.

'Several groups of unrelated snakes show almost identical defensive behavior,' he said.

Source: presstv.ir

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