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LECTURE ON SNAKES.
TREATMENT OF BITES.
An instructive lecture on snakes and snak» venom was delivered on Thursday ovenln. by Mr. J. R. Kinghorn, of the Australian Museum, In the lecture hall at the Royal Show The-lecturer stated that thero were over 2000 species of snakes throughout the svorld and about 180 in Australia. The majority Vet« terrestrial, some svere arboreal, and some aquatic, svhlio the blind snake lived under- ground. Thoro svas a legless lizard in Ans tralla. Snakes differed from lizards, inasmuch as lizards had eyelids and snakes had not, their eyes being protected by a scale shaped like a watchglass. The tongue of a lizard svas thick and fleshy, and only lightly nicked, while that of the snake was long, rod-like, and deeply forked. Some snakes laid eggs, willie others brought forth the young alise. The
Australian carpet snake, diamond snnke, the" tree snakes, and one s'enomous snake laid eggs, while the remainder of the venomous species brought forth the young alive. Tbe Australian green tree snake svas harmless, whereas the brosvn tree snake svas slightly venomous. Our best known non-venomous Bpecies svere -the diamond and carpet snakes Both svere s'aluqble in helping to keep parts of tho country free from rats and rabbits. All sea snnltea wore highly venomous, tho commonist along the Australian coast being the yollosv-bellled Bea snake A now giant brown snake lately discovered In North Queensland was probably the svorst snake In Australia, as its tangs svero as long as those of the rattlesnake, and the amount of venom secreted was about twice that of the death adder.
The lecturer said that In treating snakebite there svas no need for such drastic measures as cutting off a finger or a toe. Such a practice was often absolutely unnecessary and dan- gerous. Alcohol and ammonia had no cura- tive effect whatover, either taken inwardly or applied to the svound. Venom had been mixed with, both these and had retained all ol Its poisonous properties. Permanganate ot potash could be absolutely relied upon to neu- tralise and kill the venom. Following upon a bite a ligature Bhould bo applied as Boon as possible, so as to 'localise tho effect of the poisoning, and the surface should be wiped free from any surplus venom. The wounds should then be cut open bo as to drain away as much of tho poisoned blood ns possible. Crystals of permanganato of potash should be applied to neutralise and lilli the venom. As much of the blood as possible should be sucked or squeezod out. Medical nld should then bo sought. If the patient showed signs of collapso stimulants, such na small doses of brandy or whisky, or strong tea or coffee, should be administered. The patient should have completo reBt. The lignturo should be loosened at the end of half an hour, so that thero would not bo any danger of mortification setting in. *