Baby snakes are more dangerous than adults, right?

No, mature animals generally cause worse bites. This is another story based on a partial truth. In Arizona our most common cause of snakebite is the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake; and studies indicate that baby Westerns have a different blend of venom components than their parents do. On a drop-for-drop basis, that means that some of the components are present in higher concentration in venom from baby snakes than from adults. In the late summer, some of our patients will start out looking as if they have a mild bite on, say, the foot, but hours later we discover that their blood is showing signs of venom trouble. Doctors then say, “oh, that’s because it’s a baby snake bite! Worse blood trouble (proportional to the foot injury) than if it were an adult! The doctors may be right (although this has not been proven); but this does NOT mean that baby snakes are more dangerous: quite the opposite! For the same amount of blood trouble, a mature snake’s bite might have caused a much worse foot injury, because of the much bigger dose of venom involved.