Turn it on, for Chrissake!

by F.

Poor Houdini:


According to National Geographic,

Surgery was required to save the 12-foot (3.5-meter) snake when it made a meal of a queen-size electric blanket, complete with electrical cord and control box, as seen in this July 19 photo. The blanket’s wiring extended through about 8 feet (2.5 meters) of the the 60-pound (27-kilogram) reptile’s digestive tract (inset).

The blanket probably got tangled up with the snake’s rabbit dinner, owner Karl Beznoska of Ketchum, Idaho, told the Associated Press. Beznoska keeps the blanket in Houdini’s cage to keep the animal warm, because pythons can’t generate their own body heat.

Houdini lived, apparently, which raises an interesting question: Once the electric blanket was inside Houdini why the fuck didn’t anyone plug it in!

Yuck. Like most of my primate brethren and sisterhood, I hate snakes. However, they have their uses. According to UC Davis researchers,

The ability to spot venomous snakes may have played a major role in the evolution of monkeys, apes and humans, according to a new hypothesis by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at UC Davis. The work is published in the July issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.

Primates have good vision, enlarged brains, and grasping hands and feet, and use their vision to guide reaching and grasping. Scientists have thought that these characteristics evolved together as early primates used their hands and eyes to grab insects and other small prey, or to handle and examine fruit and other foods.

Isbell suggests instead that primates developed good close-up eyesight to avoid a dangerous predator — the snake.

“A snake is the only predator you really need to see close up. If it’s a long way away it’s not dangerous,” Isbell said.

So, thanks snakes. Just don’t get on the plane. (Can’t wait to see that movie.)

Hat tip: Thinking Meat.