A mongoose is lightning fast and has razor-sharp teeth. A black mamba can kill 15 grown men with just one bite – and is also the fastest snake in the world.

Which of these two mortal enemies will win?

If you know anything about mongooses (which I didn’t before I prepared this piece), mongooses look and act a lot like members of the weasel family but there some noticeable differences, the most obvious, is that their eyes’ pupils are spooky, like those of goats, being oblong horizontal and ovular.

Also unlike weasels, they have have receptors in their tissue for acetylcholine that, like the receptors in snakes, are shaped so it is impossible for snake neurotoxin venom to attach to them on a molecular level.

Mongooses are one of four known mammalian species which possess mutations in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that protect against snake venom, including pigs, honey badgers, hedgehogs, each of which represent four separate, independent mutations.

This mongoose would not have as much luck with a constrictor snake, as their bluff game would wear them out and a constrictor would also attack sooner.

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Alexandra Bruce

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