Chemical Weapons: Skin of Newt and Liver of Snakes
Posted by Miqe on February 28, 2007
A few columns back I touched on the chemical arms race between newts and garter snakes: the newts loaded with a fugu-like toxin to which the snakes have evolved resistance. Well, there are complexities to that story that I wasn’t aware of, some of which are described in a 2004 Journal of Chemical Ecology article entitled “A Resistant Predator and its Toxic Prey: Persistence of Newt Toxin Leads to Poisonous (Not Venomous) Snakes.” The lead author, Becky Williams, is a UC Berkeley graduate student; she collaborated with Edmund Brodie, Jr. of Utah State University and Edmund Brodie III, now at the University of Virginia.
The Berkeley Daily Planet