Constrictors killing method

zyphonix223

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Hey guys Constrictors kill by cutting off your blood right? That's what I thought, but apparently somewhere an African rock python escaped a pet store and "killed 2 boys" next door. The articles said they were found dead in beds and died due to asphyxiation according to an autopsy. But I find it unlikely that a snake would crawl onto 2 people decently far apart, coil around them for the right amount of time to kill them and just slither somewhere else. Because if it were hungry it would eat them, snakes don't just constrict prey and leave it. Right? So if they died due to asphyxiation where constrictors kill by stopping blood and snakes don't just kill and leave their prey. Could it be murder? I've been thinking about this for awhile. thanks guys :)
 

The Snark

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zyphonix223

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This? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_New_Brunswick_python_attack
End of this story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/python-death-jurors-instructions-1.3842113

Cause of death was the python. Criminal negligence on the part of the reptiles' owner was not established beyond a reasonable doubt. Case was closed.

Ischemia and hypoxia can produce identical forensic pathological evidence hence the dispute over the snake being the cause of death.
I didn't read the Wikipedia part but I also thought same as the controversy part.
 

Vanessa

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I remember that case - it set the precedent for many municipalities in Canada to ban large snakes. Constrictors cannot cut off your blood flow - it is physically impossible. All your major arteries are in your body cavity protected by your skeleton. Constrictors kill you by constricting your diaphragm and thus preventing you from breathing. You suffocate to death. It doesn't take that much constricting for a small person to be unable to breathe and that snake was 100% capable of doing so without much effort.
I am not trying to fear monger, and I adore snakes, but you have to be responsible with them. They often require specialized housing that is 100% escape proof, people should never, EVER, be handling a big snake on their own without someone there with them, and you can never lose sight of the fact that these are wild animals, who are apex predators in their ecosystem niche, and who are without any conscience or affinity towards you.
That man dropped the ball with that snake and those poor children died as a result. And, if the reptile community doesn't want bans to be put in place, then THEY need to be the ones to ensure that people like that do not exist in their community to ruin it for everyone.
 

The Snark

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Constrictors cannot cut off your blood flow - it is physically impossible.
On a personal level I kind of-sort of agree. On a professional level I've heard arguments three different ways. And since the actual cause of biological death is brain hypoxia, it's academic.
You have a combination of three different physiological factors that could/would be contributive:
1. Asphyxia as you mentioned, diaphragm compression.
2. A combination of both venous and arterial blood flow restriction. Venous restriction would emulate hemorrhagic or psychogenic shock, a lack of available oxygenated blood or blood pooling in the extremities respectively, both of which can be deadly. Keep in mind the psychogenic shock effect of fainting. Where a person suddenly goes out like a light and drops to the floor. Powerful and insidious.
3. Traumatic asphyxia cannot be discounted. Where venous blood is forced backwards into the arteries. This causes a neuro-physiological phenomenon that triggers a full arrest of both heartbeat and respirations. The victim instantly turns cyanotic - in a matter of a few seconds, and is clinically dead. This can correct itself or be instantly reversed by a CPR chest compression.
If you want to trigger a major screaming and yelling debate swing on over to the paramedic forum and post your same message.

That man dropped the ball with that snake and those poor children died as a result.
He certainly did and that was what the trial determination was all about. He dropped it, but not enough for the jury to determine he was criminally negligent. The judge had to school the jury for something like three hours on that point.

And, if the reptile community doesn't want bans to be put in place, then THEY need to be the ones to ensure that people like that do not exist in their community to ruin it for everyone.
They. How? It's not like the reptile community has a union and is organized. As usual, without a concerted effort and a single voice, they are just voices in the wilderness. The field is wide open for politicians to wade in and make poorly informed or ideologically based decisions and laws.
 
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zyphonix223

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On a personal level I kind of-sort of agree. On a professional level I've heard arguments three different ways. And since the actual cause of biological death is brain hypoxia, it's academic.
You have a combination of three different physiological factors that could/would be contributive:
1. Asphyxia as you mentioned, diaphragm compression.
2. A combination of both venous and arterial blood flow restriction. Venous restriction would emulate hemorrhagic or psychogenic shock, a lack of available oxygenated blood or blood pooling in the extremities respectively, both of which can be deadly.
3. Traumatic asphyxia cannot be discounted. Where venous blood is forced backwards into the arteries. This causes a neuro-physiological phenomenon that triggers a full arrest of both heartbeat and respirations. The victim instantly turns cyanotic, in a matter of a few seconds and the person is clinically dead..
If you want to trigger a major screaming and yelling debate swing on over to the paramedic forum and post your same message.


He certainly did and that was what the trial determination was all about. He dropped it, but not enough for the jury to determine he was criminally negligent. The judge had to school the jury for something like three hours on that point.


They. How? It's not like the reptile community has a union and is organized. As usual, without a concerted effort and a single voice, they are just voices in the wilderness. The field is wide open for politicians to wade in and make poorly informed or ideologically based decisions and laws.
You're too intelligent for this thread.
 

The Snark

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You're too intelligent for this thread.
I've also been told at one time or another that I'm too intelligent to continue breathing, be capable of producing children, I'm on par with ipecac and could be utilized as a psychological weapon of war. :astonished:
 

The Snark

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Something that should be added to all this. It is possible to instantly stop the constrictor and send it scampering using a little trick. Grab the end of the tail, squeeze and shake. Or bite it. This triggers a weird psychological phenomenon found in probably all constrictors: Predator is on me, time to get out of Dodge.

They have about 50 pythons up at the snake farm and all the handlers are schooled in this trick. Getting a munch from one of those placid lumps happens now and then and they don't let go. So when you are cleaning out the cages, figure a route to finding the end of the tail of those close to you. If you can't, give a yell and another handler will be there to find it.

 
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zyphonix223

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Something that should be added to all this. It is possible to instantly stop the constrictor and send it scampering using a little trick. Grab the end of the tail, squeeze and shake. Or bite it. This triggers a weird psychological phenomenon found in probably all constrictors: Predator is on me, time to get out of Dodge.

They have about 50 pythons up at the snake farm and all the handlers are schooled in this trick. Getting a munch from one of those placid lumps happens now and then and they don't let go. So when you are cleaning out the cages, figure a route to finding the end of the tail of those close to you. If you can't, give a yell and another handler will be there to find it.

Cool!
 

schmiggle

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In terms of not eating the children--I've read that, even though large constrictors could pretty easily kill an adult, the shoulders are too wide for them to swallow. Depending on the size of the python, this may have happened with the children as well (though I think rock pythons have been known to eat children occasionally). I also don't know if they attack when they aren't hungry; it might be more or less reflexive, though at first glance that seems maladaptive for a digesting python.

The bigger question, though, is if the snake didn't asphyxiate the kids, then what did? There's no other obvious cause, as far as I can tell
 

The Snark

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In terms of not eating the children--I've read that, even though large constrictors could pretty easily kill an adult, the shoulders are too wide for them to swallow. Depending on the size of the python, this may have happened with the children as well (though I think rock pythons have been known to eat children occasionally).
It's puzzling. But we don't have the full picture. Was the snake stressed, alarmed, underfed, just feeling pissy? And then what do we know about the snake?

At 8 foot this un could conceivably kill a small child, but not eat. He loves to cuddle and get warm, and in the process can make your arm go numb without being aware of how much he is squeezing.


This guy at 12 foot could kill but unlikely to be able to eat. He's in a permanent hissy fit and bites his fellow pythons, thus his solitary confinement


At ~200 lbs this guy could casually kill a grown man, maybe not even aware he is killing, and would eat only if he felt seriously hungry. That's ~3/16 inch hardware cloth behind him to give an idea of his mass and girth.


Giving this some thought, it is conceivable the larger two snakes, above, especially if used to being handled and socializing, could have accidentally killed those kids. Just snuggled up to one for warmth and when he went toes up and got cold went and found the other. After all, they do constrict without being in hunting mode. Even a 3 foot ptyas can give your arm a serious squeeze while still being laid back and placid.
 
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