Gravitational gradients and blood flow patterns in specialized arboreal ( Ahaetulla nasuta ) and terrestrial ( Crotalus adamanteus ) snakes Academic Article uri icon


  • Blood pressure and blood flow patterns were recorded from the carotid artery and aortae of a thick-bodied terrestrial snake (Crotalus adamanteus) and a thin-bodied arboreal species (Ahaetulla nasuta) anesthetized with ketamine hydrochloride. Hemodynamic stress induced by rotation resulted in pronounced changes in the blood flow patterns and pressure in C. adamanteus: rotation of A. nasuta produced changes of a similar type, but of a much lower magnitude. The markedly different responses of these two species, the baroreceptor reflexes of which were disrupted, suggest that morphological factors--such as differential gross cardiac displacement, or variation in the interaortic foramen--in addition to physiological factors, are important in determining a snake's ability to withstand hemodynamic stress.

publication date

  • October 1, 1997