The Shrew in my Brain: Snakes and the Evolved Body—Part II

Hopefully, you are now convinced by the evidence in Part I, that I am not afraid of snakes. The point being, not that I am fearless and brave, but this: I am jogging along the banks of the Danube, I turn into Danau Park with it’s green grasses, large old trees, strolling couples, and a smell and feel of wild things (even though it is quite tame). It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining. I am tired. I am glad to be almost done with a long (for me) run. Suddenly, and without any premonition that this was about to happen, I find my knees at eyelevel. Continue reading The Shrew in my Brain: Snakes and the Evolved Body—Part II

Some are born afraid of snakes, and others have snake-fear thrust upon them: Part I

While spiders used to terrify me, I’ve never been afraid of snakes. Lots of things are. Especially mammals and birds. Especially mammals and birds eaten by snakes. And especially mammals and birds that snakes can bite with lethally poisonous fangs. Nothing sets a troop of monkeys howling like a snake slithering through their midst. Chimps despise the beasts and become agitated and upset when they find one hanging around the encampment and they will let everyone in the forest know that this dust-eating beast is not welcome. Apparently, even chimps raised without ever having seen a snake will become alarmed when one is introduced for the first time. I don’t know about elephants. Continue reading Some are born afraid of snakes, and others have snake-fear thrust upon them: Part I