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Mojave rattlesnakes' life-threatening venom is more widespread than expected

The Mojave rattlesnake, living in the deserts of the southwestern United States and central Mexico, is characterized by its lethal venom that can either shut down your body or tenderize your insides. Researchers have found that the type of reaction depends on the location of the potent critter. To discover which venom type occurs where, herpetologists -- the amphibian- and reptile-loving scientists -- have been collecting data on Mojave rattlesnakes in the Southwest. The recent findings show a peculiar variability in the species. The discovery required a large research collaboration between the principal investigators and students in five labs across the U.S. and Mexico, in addition to almost 100 citizen scientists whom the investigators assembled through social media and networking.

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