Cosmos Briefing

Apes vs snakes: Who would win?

January 11, 2022 The Royal Institution of Australia
Cosmos Briefing
Apes vs snakes: Who would win?
Show Notes

Who’s afraid of cobras? Not gorillas and chimps! Recent research has shown that an ancient ancestor of chimps, gorillas and humans evolved strong resistance to venom – specifically, to neurotoxins in snake venom – and passed it on to us. Today, Cosmos journalist Dr Deborah Devis speaks to the study’s lead author, Associate Professor Bryan Fry from the University of Queensland (AKA Venom Doc), about how this was part of an ongoing evolutionary arms race between African apes and deadly venomous snakes and why he’s so interested in venom.

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