Live-blogging “Nature’s Deadliest: Brazil”
Once again, the Discovery Channel is the gift that keeps on giving. First up, the anaconda.
The Sir Mix-a-Lot line “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun” is not true of all anacondas. Most anacondas will eat bunless prey, constricting it and then swallowing it in one, long bite.
Brazil is where it all got started. African bees were cross-bred with domestic honey bees, got lose, and got their sting on.
Averaging only three feet, this brown snake is not particularly aggressive BUT it likes to live in human habitats. Its venom is a powerful anti-coagulant. “Once someone is bitten by a jararaca, they can bleed out their eyes, their mouth . . . anywhere.”
Up to eight feet long, it is the largest venomous snake in the Americas. Attracted to body heat, it makes a bee-line for flashlight bulbs. “Flexible muscles at the base of its fangs let it move them like fingers.”
“It’s the deadliest caterpillar in the world,” which sounds funny but “without antivenom, victims almost always die . . . by having their blood-chemistry destroyed after 15 agonizing hours.”
The most poisonous spider in the world, it grows to up to five inches across. And, you know, it gets around.
Growing up to 20-feet long, it is the largest of the crocodilians. (Have you noticed that there are a lot of superlatives in the Amazon?) “Black cayman in black water . . . It’s impossible to see them”—until it’s too late! Death by traumatic shock and drowning.
Kills in as little as two hours; there is no antivenom. And they’re pretty, oh so pretty, so people pick them up. Some victims die from suffocation, others “are killed by the pain alone.”
Brazilian yellow scorpion
1) Yellow scorpions like beaches 2) People like beaches. 3) Scorpions sting people. Also, victims die of pulmonary edima, which sounds profoundly sucky.
Poison dart frong! Sorry, poison dart frog!
“These tiny frogs are incredible poison factories.”
And there you have it, Brazil’s deadliest! These are some bad-ass creatures, but I can’t help thinking that Africa and Australia have them soundly beaten. Then again, Africa and Australia are continents. Also, “incredible poison factories” . . . good band name?