This "killer of killers" - with its electric blue stripes and neon red head and tail - is one of the world's most attractive snakes, and yet, despite its notoriety, the coral snake's venom has remained largely unstudied, note the researchers.
When they investigated its properties, the researchers found that the coral snake's venom "produces spastic paralysis, in contrast to the flaccid paralysis typically produced by neurotoxic snake venoms".
"They specialise in preying on other venomous snakes, including young king cobras, so they play a "hunt the most dangerous" game".
"It specialises in feeding on other venomous snakes, who in turn specialise in feeding on other venomous snakes", Prof Fry said.
The findings of the research which was led by Fry involved scientists from Australia, China, Singapore and the United States was been published in journal Toxins in October.
"It also has the biggest venom glands in the world, extending over a quarter the length of its body".
Newly discovered properties about the venom of a deadly and strikingly attractive snake - dubbed the "killer of killers" - may lead to new pain treatments for humans.
The venom of the snake is the deadliest and most fast acting among all snakes. Fry says the venom teaches scientists how the sodium channels work, providing them more data for designing drugs.
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It's nasty business, but evolution has equipped the blue coral snake with this particularly powerful venom for a reason. Stranger still, according to Fry, while the badass snake does not kill like any other snake in the world, its deadly ways are identical to, well, a cone snail.
"A cone snail instantly paralyzes a fish into a rigid death mask", Fry explained, "fully tensing the muscles in a tetanus-like spasm".
The venom does this "by preventing the nerves from turning off their sodium channels, keeping the nerve firing continuously", says Prof. Paralysed and helpless, the animal is eventually put out of its misery by the killer snake.
While the length of the long-glanded blue coral snake's venom glands was known, the way the venom worked hadn't been studied. "Here out of this enigmatic, extraordinarily rare animal we have made a discovery that could greatly benefit human health".
"This venom hits a particular type of sodium channel that is important for the treatment of pain in humans", Fry said.
I for one, welcome our new snake overlords.
Hopefully, researchers can do something to save these lovely snakes, because there are still many unknowns to be figured out, including how they could better our understanding of human health.