How can High School Students in Mexico Help Students in Puerto Rico?

Kids Talk Radio Science Helping Puerto Rico

We are calling on students from around the world to help other students in Puerto Rico.  We are looking for your creative ideas to make drinking water safe to drink.  We are looking to use solar energy to to create light and to charge cell phones.

What other ideas do you have?

Visit the new Puerto Rico Website today and you will see what we are starting to do to help fellow students on the island.

www.KidsTalkRadioPuertoRico.WordPress.com

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We need a soil sample from Mexico

High School students working at the Barboza Space Center are working on growing better plants for Mars.  www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com

We need a test-tube size sample of soil from your country for experiments we will be conducting in July, 2018 in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.  We want to collaborate with other high school students from around the world.   Our project is the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.  

Contact: Bob Barboza at (562) 221-1780 Cell.

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Martian soil

Curiosity‘s view of Martian soil and boulders after crossing the “Dingo Gap” sand dune (February 9, 2014; raw color).

Martian soil is the fine regolith found on the surface of Mars. Its properties can differ significantly from those of terrestrial soil. The term Martian soil typically refers to the finer fraction of regolith. On Earth, the term “soil” usually includes organic content.[1] In contrast, planetary scientists adopt a functional definition of soil to distinguish it from rocks.[2] Rocks generally refer to 10 cm scale and larger materials (e.g., fragments, breccia, and exposed outcrops) with high thermal inertia, with areal fractions consistent with the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) data, and immobile under current aeolian conditions.[2] Consequently, rocks classify as grains exceeding the size of cobbles on the Wentworth scale.

This approach enables agreement across Martian remote sensing methods that span the electromagnetic spectrum from gamma to radio waves. ‘‘Soil’’ refers to all other, typically unconsolidated, material including those sufficiently fine-grained to be mobilized by wind.[2] Soil consequently encompasses a variety of regolith components identified at landing sites. Typical examples include: bedform armor, clasts, concretions, drift, dust, rocky fragments, and sand. The functional definition reinforces a recently proposed genetic definition of soil on terrestrial bodies (including asteroids and satellites) as an unconsolidated and chemically weathered surficial layer of fine-grained mineral or organic material exceeding centimeter scale thickness, with or without coarse elements and cemented portions.[1]

Martian dust generally connotes even finer materials than Martian soil, the fraction which is less than 30 micrometres in diameter. Disagreement over the significance of soil’s definition arises due to the lack of an integrated concept of soil in the literature. The pragmatic definition “medium for plant growth” has been commonly adopted in the planetary science community but a more complex definition describes soil as “(bio)geochemically/physically altered material at the surface of a planetary body that encompasses surficial extraterrestrial telluric deposits.” This definition emphasizes that soil is a body that retains information about its environmental history and that does not need the presence of life to form.

Can we work together to grow food faster on Mars?

Our Occupy Mars Tiger Team has been invited to write a professional paper on how we plan on growing food faster on the planet Mars.  Who wants the assignment?

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www.KidsTalkRadioScience.com

http://www.OccupyMars.WordPress.com

 

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The entire raw sequence data on which the genome is based, the final assembled version, and the complete annotation (insofar as possible) of the assembled genome must be available at a public repository at the time of publication. Typical files available for download would include, for example, the genome sequences (contigs or pseudomolecules as FASTA files), a GFF or GTF file describing the gene models, together with cDNA, CDS, and protein sequences as FASTA files. Depending on the focus of the work, information about contig scaffolding and additional annotated features such as transposable elements, miRNAs and ncRNAs may be required.

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Members of the editorial board will evaluate all manuscripts upon submission to determine whether they are appropriate for evaluation by external expert reviewers.

At submission, authors are required to suggest a minimum of two reviewers. All reviewers will be vetted for legitimacy but authors should take care not to suggest people who have a conflict of interest as defined by the ASPB policy (http://aspb.org/publications/aspb-journals/policies-procedures/).

While authors’ suggested reviewers may be considered, Plant Direct editors are permitted to use any reviewer reasonably believed to be an appropriate scientific expert, except reviewers who would be excluded by ASPB’s conflict of interest policy.

If authors wish to request the exclusion of certain reviewers for other reasons, specific justification must be provided; such requests may be considered at the discretion of the editor.

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After the review, authors will receive one of the following decisions regarding their paper:

Accept: Paper is deemed suitable for publication. Publication is dependent on receipt of any final changes/proofs and payments.

Revision Requested: Some experimentation and/or revision is required

Reject: In light of the reviewers’ and editors’ comments and evaluations, the manuscript does not meet the standards for publication in Plant Direct. Decline to further consider: Our editors find this paper too far outside of their area of expertise to properly evaluate and manage. We are withdrawing this paper from consideration and returning it to the authors in a timely manner so as not to affect or delay the chances of publishing it elsewhere.

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Decisions will be made as rapidly as possible. If our editors feel the paper is too far outside of their area for them to properly evaluate, the manuscript will be returned to the authors with a “Decline to Further Consider” decision within three weeks.

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The board will strive to render a decision after only one revision. Requested revisions must be submitted within 2 months unless an extension is granted.

If the authors choose to resubmit a declined manuscript after completing additional experiments, the resubmitted version will be treated as a new manuscript and subject to the full review process.

Accepted articles are published online within five working days, provided payment and the return of final proof files.

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All articles published by Plant Direct are fully open access: immediately freely available to read, download and share, and enjoy the benefits of a CC-By license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). To cover the cost of publishing, Plant Direct requires the payment of an Article Publication Charge or APC. Current members of the ASPB and/or the SEB are afforded a discount.

Direct submissions to the Journal from non-society members who do not upload to an approved preprint service prior to submission – $2,200

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All decision appeals should be formally submitted to the editorial office at PlantDirect@wiley.com. Please be sure to include the manuscript ID number, original decision letter, and basis for appeal.

Contact Any other questions or concerns may be sent to the editorial office at PlantDirect@wiley.com.

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Watching A Solar Eclipse from Mexico

How is the sun completely blocked in an eclipse?

Image of moon covering sun in a solar eclipse

In this picture of a solar eclipse, the moon is beginning to move from in front of the sun. Credit: NASA

During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between Earth and the sun. This completely blocks out the sun’s light. However, the moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun. How can it block all of that light?


It all has to do with the distance between Earth and the sun and Earth and the moon.

an illustration of the moon blocking the sun's light during the August 2017 eclipse

An illustration showing the Earth, moon, and sun during the August 21, 2017 eclipse. Image credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

When objects are closer to us, they appear to be bigger than objects that are far away. For example, most stars in the night sky look like tiny white dots of light. In reality, many of those stars are larger than our sun—they are just much farther away from Earth!

Even though the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it’s also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun is. This means that from Earth, the moon and the sun appear to be roughly the same size in the sky.

an illustration showing that the sun and the moon appear to be the same size in the sky, but the moon is much closer to Earth than the sun is

Image credit: NASA

So, when the moon comes between Earth and the sun during a total solar eclipse, the moon appears to completely cover up the light from the sun.

However, it won’t always be this way.


Total solar eclipses won’t be around forever!

The moon’s orbit is changing. In fact, the moon’s orbit grows about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) larger every year. As the moon’s orbit takes it farther and farther away from Earth, the moon will appear smaller and smaller in our sky.

This occasionally happens now. The moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly round. That means that sometimes the moon is slightly farther away from Earth than it is at other times. Sometimes the moon is far enough away that it doesn’t create a total solar eclipse. In this case, the moon obscures most of the sun, but a thin ring of the sun remains visible around the moon.

However, once the moon’s growing orbit takes it approximately 14,600 miles (23,496 km) away from Earth, it will always be too far away to completely cover the sun. That won’t happen for a long time though. If the moon’s orbit grows only 1.5 inches every year, it will take more than 600 million years for total solar eclipses to completely disappear!

article last updated May 22, 2017

Can we practice going to Mars in Mexico?

Devon island is closer to Ireland than California.   We want high school students in Island to follow this story.  What would it take for a student “Tiger Team” to support this team of explorers?   http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com  

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Mars 160 Crew Report (#1) | FMARS Mission

[Sunday, July 16, 2017, Devon Island] — A red bi-propeller plane is approaching a brownish hill in the High Arctic. On top of it, sits for 17 years now a tuna can-shaped habitat named the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). After few low fly-bys, the plane is slowing down, landing 2.5 km from the Hab.

The station is very similar to the Mars Desert Research Station(MDRS), but with different construction so that there is a little more room inside. The upstairs layout is reversed, and the bathroom and toilet spaces are partitioned off together with a little tool room, so there is less open space downstairs. The deck seems a little lower so there is less headroom in the lower deck but more in the loft, which provides room for general storage.

The first half of the Mars 160 crew has landed. The other half of the crew will join them the day after. Landing the crew in two shots… Interesting thoughts for manned mission to Mars!

This was not an easy journey from several aspects. Due to weather and ground conditions, the crew has been stuck for 3 weeks at Resolute Bay.

My role as commander is to make sure that we use efficiently our resources. Time is the most precious of them. Despite our situation in Resolute, the crew stayed active and productive. But I cannot hide the fact that I had strong doubts about the fate of the mission. At some point, after travelling so far, you have to reach your final destination or the mission itself loses its meaning! [Alex]

As the Japanese proverb “isogaba maware” says, meaning “slow and steady wins the race”, I think waiting is always a part of a mission. At least we were closing in to FMARS. So do not lose our presence of mind, do not lose a time to prepare, do not lose a chance if it might happen, were the only things what we could do in Resolute. [Yusuke]

Resolute is a fascinating place, and serves as an analogue for what a Martian settlement of several hundred people could be like. I was able to collect a lot of data in this regard for future use.  The environment is also very interesting, and we were able to use it to familiarise ourselves with conditions on Devon Island and to plan possible future expeditions to Cornwallis Island. [Jon]

Resolute Bay is a beautifully colonized Inuit hamlet, which is also called the window to the North Pole and a place with no dawn. I find an amazing resemblance between the way Resolute is colonised and the future human colonization of Mars. Staying at Resolute and waiting for the right conditions to land at FMARS was uncertain and unanticipated. The mission was getting shorter and it seemed that the science goals were going to be compromised. [Anushree]

Being delayed for so long opened up a lot of uncertainty as to how I would be able to carry out all of the research I had planned for the mission. The delay seemed to have benefits it allowed for extra time for Anastasiya to join us. [Paul]

I didn’t wait as the rest of the crew, instead I was struggling with bureaucracy of Canadian visa centre. I didn’t get my visa twice. The third time I applied with almost no hope, but as Russians say “Bog lubit troecu” (God loves the Trinity). This time it worked out and I got my “golden” visa, packed during night, hit the road next morning, had seven flights and finally saw my crew! I was extremely happy and full of joy to finally make it, to see my Martian family and to continue the work towards mission to FMARS! [Anastasiya]

FMARS… The first Martian like habitat built by The Mars Society in 2000 on the edge of the Haughton crater in Devon Island. The crater is a shallow circular depression 15 km across and 140 m deep. The air is so clear the further rim much closer. It’s the most impressive and Mars like setting of all the analogue stations. You can really imagine a Mars base on the edge of what would be a small crater on Mars. The ground is greyish brown in colour, rocky, composed of dolomite rock (brown) on the rim and the crater fill (grey) on the floor. Freeze-thaw action over the permafrost has worked the rocky ground into polygonal networks of sorted stones. There are networks within networks, the smaller polygons are 1.5 m across, the larger ones, with the largest rocks, are 4-5 m across. The landscape is undulating, a low plain cut by river valleys. Clear, gravel-bed streams fed by snow-melt flow down them. There are many relict snow patches.

Regarding living organisms, there is almost no vegetation, a little moss here and there, a few lichens, and tiny clumps of wild flowers. In wet areas you can find interesting biofilms and hypoliths. There is rare trace of animal activities. But there are fossils – corals, sponges, and nautiloids – everywhere.

Now the crew has arrived and settled. One could expect a lot of excitement and joy. But there their feelings are much more diverse and nuanced.

I feel relieved. Being able to have started my research this week and getting my monitoring equipment installed and running has made me much more relaxed and able to think more critically about the rest of the work I need to do, as well as meeting the goals of the simulation. [Paul]

When my crewmates showed me the aerial view of the habitat, I was emotional. I felt this urge to be in the habitat now. Our small habitat located on the top of the planet, totally oblivious to the rest of the world. I couldn’t stop smiling. So, how do I feel now? Obviously great… no more philosophy. [Anushree]

The feelings are diverse. Excitement to start new chapter in life at such a unique place and with my Martian family. Confusion to understand that I am here and not at MDRS. Sadness to miss crew members, who couldn’t make it. Curiosity to see the discoveries of our science research. Anticipation to get the results of our projects. [Anastasiya]

I love this place! Haughton crater is amazing. Some aspects of the station like the ladders between levels, are a source of frustration.[Jon]

Not very excited as I anticipated. I don’t know why for sure. I guess because our mission had already began when we arrived at Resolute for me. Now it is a time to take a step forward solemnly and silently. [Yusuke]

With the straining days we spent so far, I did not have too much the liberty to feel anything. For me it is mostly, stacking all the tasks, delegate and synchronize the crew to work properly and efficiently. But I have noticed that during few minutes during the day I manage to escape from my thoughts and worries. When that happens, I feel amazed to have reached a great Mars analogue on Earth. [Alex]

The Mars 160 program is two separate expeditions. The first occurred last fall at MDRS. FMARS expedition is the final chapter of the program. It will be over soon. The main goal of these expeditions is science operations. It includes what field science can be conducted on each site but also how remote and crew scientists cooperate with each other. As the mission is shortened by the delay induced by the earlier conditions, the expectations had to be reviewed in order to match the new time constraints.

For this mission, I was appointed as a scientist going to be based on Mars principally to execute the vision of scientists based on Earth. For me, this association has been the most fascinating part of my sojourn for Mars 160 expeditions. Considering the extreme remoteness and less resource, I expect this mission to be more productive for testing the asynchronous communication and coordination between the remote science team and me to conduct field science.

I believe FMARS is a vantage point to access various Martian polar regions features at one place: an ancient impact crater which once contained lake analogous to the Gale crater on Mars, geological features of hydrothermal origin, periglacial patterned ground, impact-induced hydrothermal evaporite deposits, the day-night cycle, and total isolation.

The delay in the mission, would of course narrow the chances of scouting the area, thereby, would restrict sampling events. However, with appropriate planning and coordination among the crew, I expect to meet the goals set by our remote science team.[Anushree]

I will not be able to get the data I originally wanted on the crater floor. This is only partly due to the delay and mostly related to prevailing mud along ATV routes, but this is a factor out of our control. As a result of the condensed time and modified research goals, I will have more to do and fewer EVA’s to do them.

My research is focused on cataloguing the different types of patterned ground around Haughton Crater and gaining a better understanding of how these permafrost features form and evolve over time. Similar features have been observed on Mars, so understanding how they form on Earth can yield insights into how they form elsewhere in the solar system. [Paul]

My expectations of the mission are that we will have a safe and enjoyable time that will colour our reflections for the rest of our lives. I expect us to all be able to collect material we can use in different areas later on, be in media stories, published research, lectures, or ideas for design work on Mars technology and architecture.

I will be focusing on three areas: 1) studying facies in the limestones of the Silurian Allen Bay Formation that the Haughton Impact structure has been excavated into, 2) classifying and mapping, regolith landforms of a polar Mars analogue, and 3) collecting operation data on daily scheduling, time management, EVA capabilities during a simulated Mars surface stay.  Only the third will be significantly impacted by having a shorter period to collect data.  However, when used in conjunction with the data from the first phase of the expedition in Utah I expect to have more than enough to draw useful conclusions. [Jon]

I expect to return safe and sound, live peacefully, enjoy this moment with my crew mate. I am looking forward to be a dependable crew as my ideal role on Antarctica (JARE), who can take care of a thankless job.

Arctic is not as easy as we suppose it to be. It is inevitable that the field science projects take the priority over other projects such as mine. That’s alright. So, I either cross out some of my personal projects or find a way to collaborate with other projects.

I will focus on 3D archives. Basically this idea is coming from architectural 3 dimensional aspects. People have to decipher Mars appearances by 2D information. How we could convert 3D Mars data into 2D transportable data by easy, simple, quick, convenient, inexpensive ways in terms of a human centred design to support field research specialists on Mars? I will try few things such as anaglyph 3D picture of some field site or 360 degrees high resolution photo. [Yusuke]

As I always say, set the high goals, because they will help you to grow in many ways! The experience of first Mars 160 expedition helped me to grow as a person, gain diverse skills and showed new view of our controversial world. From FMARS I expect not the less, the harsh environment and even more limited resources than at MDRS will require new levels of creativity, stamina and hard work.

I’m coordinator of psychological studies by Institute of Biomedical Problems (Russia) and the more time crew spends in extreme environment and isolation, the more valuable data IBMP can receive. Fortunately, these tests do not interact with the field science activities, so my work is in lesser extent affected than theirs by the delay. [Anastasiya]

The earlier delay is unfortunate. Mars analogue field science is something very particular: a scientist on Earth would take samples and bring them back to the Lab for further analysis while on Mars you would probably conduct preliminary analysis of the samples before deciding which one to bring back to Earth and which one to dispose of. The new time constraints will not allow our crew scientists to conduct too much analysis, if any. They will have to rely on their eye ball judgment and intuition. Something a robot could not do. The outcome of this expedition will be interesting in that regard.

To support the science activities, I will not conduct my technological project about the spacesuit user interface. Also, I cannot afford that one of the scientists (Anushree, Jon or Paul) take the role of the shotgun carrier (bear protection) during EVAs. So I will assume most of this role during our stay at FMARS.

This crew is very dedicated to the mission and I am very confident that our limited time here will be spent wisely. I also like to think that from our misfortune delay, lessons will be learnt and used for future crews. [Alex]

A full report about the Mars 160 mission at FMARS will be presented at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 7-10,  2017 at the University of California Irvine. For more details, please visit our web site: http://www.marssociety.org/conventions/2017.

Comment: Bob Barboza will be presenting about “Mars Tiger Teams” at the Mars Society Convention, September 7-10, 2017.

Information: Suprschool@aol.com

International Art Contest: Mexico

Mars Society to Hold Int’l Student Mars Art Contest
Two Weeks Remaining until Submission Deadline (May 31)
The Mars Society is sponsoring a Student Mars Art (SMArt) Contest, inviting youth from around the world to depict the human future on the planet Mars. Young artists from grades 4 through 12 are invited to submit up to three works of art each, illustrating any part of the human future on the Red Planet, including the first landing, human field exploration, operations at an early Mars base, the building of the first Martian cities, terraforming the Red Planet and other related human settlement concepts.

The SMArt Contest will be divided into three categories: Upper Elementary (grades 4-6), Junior High (grades 7-9), and High School (Grades 10-12). Cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250, as well as trophies, will be given out to the first, second and third place winners of each section. There will also be certificates of honorable mention for those artists who don’t finish in the top three, but whose work is nevertheless judged to be particularly meritorious.

The winning works of art will be posted on the Mars Society web site and may also be published as part of a special book about Mars art. In addition, winners will be invited to come to the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention at the University of California, Irvine September 7-10, 2017 to display and talk about their art.

Mars art will consist of still images, which may be composed by traditional methods, such as pencil, charcoal, watercolors or paint, or by computerized means. Works of art must be submitted via a special online form (http://nextgen.marssociety.org/mars-art) in either PDF or JPEG format with a 10 MB limit per image. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2017, 5:00 pm MST. By submitting art to the contest, participating students grant the Mars Society non-exclusive rights to publish the images on its web site or in Kindle paper book form.

Speaking about the SMArt Contest, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said, “The imagination of youth looks to the future. By holding the SMArt Contest, we are inviting young people from all over the world to use art to make visible the things they can see with their minds that the rest of us have yet to see with our own eyes. Show us the future, kids. From imagination comes reality. If we can see it, we can make it.”

All questions about the Mars Society’s SMArt Contest can be submitted to: Marsart@marssociety.org.

Talking About Snake Bites: What can we learn from Mexico and Canada?

Reason snakes bites are currently on the rise in these US states

Teacher Training Notice:  The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures Team will receive emergency training for dealing with snake bites.  “We have to be ready for all situations when working on our space geology teams.” Said team leader, Bob Barboza.   We are going to include this training in all of our Jr. medical space medicine programs.

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Taking a trip to the South? Well watch out for snakes. Snake bites in Georgia are up 40 percent this year according to the Georgia Poison Control Center.

South Carolina is also reporting a 30 percent increase this year.

While North Carolina saw a notable spike in bites – receiving 71 calls in April 2017 compared to only 19 calls the year before according to WRAL.

A doctor with the Georgia center told WSB-TV that the first call to come in this year was the first week of January – breaking previous records.

They are blaming the increase on a short and mild winter.

According to a study released late 2016 – when it comes to snakebites in people 18 and under – Florida and Texas have the highest rates of snakebites – with Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia, not far behind.

If bit by a snake – The Mayo Clinic suggests calling 9-1-1- immediately – removing jewelry and or tight clothing in case you start to swell and positioning yourself so the bite is below or level of your heart.

Guide to Snakes Part 1: Know Thine Enemy

You and your buddies are out on a camping trip reconnecting with nature and your masculinity. You’re taking a day hike to see some ancient Indian hieroglyphics, when all of sudden you feel the acute pain of two razor sharp fangs entering your flesh. You’ve just been bitten by a snake. Do you know what to do?

Just the sight of a slithering snake can send a shiver down even the manliest spine. And with good reason-with just one nibble, and in only a few hours, these feetless, cold-blooded serpents can snuff out your life. While only 9-15 people in the United States die every year from snake bites, if you don’t know how to treat them correctly, you or your loved one could become part of those statistics. Knowing how to deal with snakes and snakebites is essential man knowledge.

The best way to “treat” a snakebite is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. So in Part 1 of the Art of Manliness’ Guide to Snakes, we’ll give you a dossier on all the bad boys you need to look out for.

In Part 2, we’ll discuss ways to avoid becoming some snake’s snack and how to treat a bite if you do get bitten.

Know Your Enemy

If you were a Boy Scout, you were probably taught an old mnemonic to help you identify venomous snakes:

Red and black, friend of Jack. Red and yellow, kill a fellow.

Or in other words, if a snake has adjacent red and black colors on its skin, it’s not venomous. If red and yellow are adjacent, that snake is venomous.
But as a man, you’re past simple maxims. You want to know how to identify and name a snake. You want to know the habits of your nemeses. So, here’s a description of the various poisonous snakes found in North America and around the world.

Coral Snake

Know Thine Enemy: Coral snakes are easy to spot by their distinctive coloring. They have alternating, red, yellow, and black bands. Did you get that? Red and yellow are touching each other, meaning this bad boy is poisonous. Be on the look out. There are counterfeit corals that have alternating red, black, and yellow bands. These aren’t poisonous.
Coral snakes are shorter than other venomous snakes. They average about 40 inches and have smaller mouths and fangs.

Their hideout: Corals are found in the southern and eastern United States, and in other places around the world. They can usually be found slithering in dry areas with lots of shrubs. They frequently spend their time underground or buried under leaf litter, and don’t pop out to say hello very often. You’ll see them most frequently after it rains or during breeding season. There are also some aquatic species that loiter in your favorite swimming hole.

How mean are they? They’re not aggressive or prone to biting, but if they do bite-watch out. Their venom takes longer to deliver, so when they bite, they hold on and won’t let go.

Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes are easy to identify because, well, they have a rattle at the end of their tail. When threatened, the rattlesnake shakes its rattle as a warning to his would-be nemeses. Luckily for us, it’s a pretty damn loud warning; its peak frequency is equivalent to that of an ambulance siren. Did you ever wonder what a rattlesnake’s rattle was made of? Yeah? Me too. It’s basically composed of modified scales that slough off from the tail. Each time a rattlesnake sheds its skin, a new segment is added. When the snake shakes its tail in the air, the segments rattle against each other. Contrary to popular belief you can’t tell a rattlesnake’s age from counting the number of rattle segments; while they do add more segments on a regular basis, they also lose them during travels. Word of warning: if the rattle gets soaked from wet weather, it will no longer emit its noisy warning. So tread lightly in those conditions.

Several varieties of rattlesnakes exist and their habitats range from Canada to South America. The diamondback rattlesnake, the mojave rattlesnake, the sidewinder rattlesnake, and the timber rattlesnake are three species common to the United States

The Diamondback Rattlesnake

Know Thine Enemy: The different species of rattlesnakes have varied colorings, but all can be identified by their skin’s telltale diamond pattern. Most diamondbacks are about 3.5-5.5 feet long, although the Eastern diamondbacks, the biggest of the bunch, have been found in the 7 ft range.

Their hideout: Diamondbacks are generally found along the southern border of the United States, from Florida to Baja California and into Mexico. Rattlesnakes like to sun themselves and come out in the early morning or afternoon to bask in the sun’s rays. You therefore often find them sunning themselves on rocky ledges. While not typically adept climbers, species like the eastern diamond back have been found 32 ft off the ground. Some are excellent swimmers as well; eastern diamondbacks slither for miles in-between islands in the Florida Keys.

How mean are they? Some diamondbacks will retreat if given a chance. But often they will stand their ground and may strike repeatedly. They can strike from a distance up to 2/3 their body size and strike faster then the human eye can see, so stay as far away as possible. They have some of the fiercest venom of any snake; victims can die within hours of being bitten.

The Mojave Rattlesnake

Know Thine Enemy: Generally 3-4.5 ft long, it has grayish diamond shape markings on its back like the diamondback, but it’s overall coloration is more green than brown.

Their hideout: The mojave rattlesnake primarily lives in the desert of the southwestern United States, so be on the look out for it when you’re riding a burro down the Grand Canyon.They are common in wide expanses of desert and can often be found near scrub brush. They hibernate during the winter.

How mean are they? Although there isn’t scientific date to back it up, mojaves have a reputation for being quite aggressive, especially towards people.

The Sidewinder Rattlesnake

Know Thine Enemy: The sidewinder gets its name from its trademark sideways locomotion. The reason they do this is to reduce the amount of contact they have with the hot desert sands and to increase their movement’s efficiency. Just watching this thing move puts you on notice that it’s a killing machine. Smaller than its rattling cousins, the sidewinder usually is 1.5-2 feet long. The sidewinder is light in color with darker bands on its back. In addition to its trippy sideways movement, evolution has given the sidewinder another killer advantage: it can survive in the desert without a single drop of water. They get all the water they need from the prey they devour. That’s right. When a sidewinder sees you walking along, you’re not only lunch, but also a canteen. Watch out.

Their hideout: These snakes can be found in the desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. During the cooler months (about December to February) the sidewinder is nocturnal. They are diurnal the rest of the year.

How mean are they? Their venom is weaker than their cousins, but still can cause a serious health threat. Tread lightly.

Timber Rattlesnake

Know Thine Enemy: Timber rattlesnakes have a yellow, brown, and rust orange coloring and are typically 3-4 ft in length. The timber rattler was immortalized during the American Revolution where it served as the symbol in the “Don’t Tread on Me Flag.” It also serves as the First Navy Jack.

Their hideout: Unlike many of its rattlesnake cousins who live in the deserts of the West, the timber rattlesnake is found in the eastern United States; it’s the only rattlesnake to make its home in the Northeast.

How mean are they? Timber rattlers are a much mellower breed of rattlesnakes, so they don’t bite too often. And they tend to rattle a lot before striking, giving you time to hightail it out of there.

Cottonmouth Snakes

Know Thine Enemy: The Cottonmouth is one scary snake. No one wants to see it slithering toward them at their favorite watering hole. Cottonmouth snakes are usually around 2 ft in length, although some have grown to a size of nearly 6 ft. Their brown, gray, tan, yellowish olive or blackish coloring, is segmented by dark crossbands. When threatened, cottonmouths will throw their head back and open their mouth wide, displaying the white interior from whence it derives the name “cottonmouth.”

Their hideout: The cottonmouth is an aquatic snake found in the south and southeast part of the United States. Cottonmouths make creeks, streams, marshes, and lakes their home, although they can also be found on dry land. Because of their affinity to water, cottonmouths are also known as water moccasins. Cottonmouths can be active during the day and night. But when it’s hot, they are usually found coiled or stretched out in the shade.

How mean are they? Despite their vicious reputation, in many cases the cottonmouth’s hiss is worse than its bite. Cottonmouths often engage in a showy threat display without attacking. This routine includes shaking their tail and letting a musky secretion rip from their anal glands. The scent of this snake fart has been compared to that of a billy goat; so if you smell goat, flee in the other direction.

Copperhead Snakes

Know Thine Enemy: Copperhead snakes are identified by their coppery colored head and neck. Adults reach lengths of 2 to 4 feet.

Their hideout: Copperheads are mainly found in the eastern part of the U.S. They make forest and woodlands their home. However, they do prefer to live closer to water.

How mean are they? Copperheads will only bite if they feel directly threatened, i.e., if you try to pick up or touch them. But this contact can happen inadvertently. Unlike many venomous snakes that usually slither away when humans are around, copperheads will freeze in place, often resulting in humans stepping on them and getting bitten. A bite from a copperhead is extremely painful but is not fatal if treated properly.

Cobras

Cobras are probably the most famous of all the venomous snakes, thanks in part to Johnny and the gang at Cobra Kai Dojo in the Karate Kid. (I hate Johnny. What a prick.) Several species of cobras exist. What they all have in common is the distinct “hood” they make when they are threatened. In order to create this distinct cobra hood, cobras will flatten their body by spreading their ribs.

The King Cobra

Know Thine Enemy: The King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake, growing to a length of between 12 and 13 feet Wowza! Their olive green, tan, or black skin has pale yellow cross bands down the length of the body.

Their hideout: King Cobras are found in South and Southeast Asia. They can also be found in some parts of India. King Cobras typically live in dense highland forests near rivers and streams.

How mean are they? The King Cobra is one scary mother. The King Cobra doesn’t just feed on small rodents, this bad boy is cannibalistic- it eats other snakes. While the King Cobra is shy, it will attack if it is provoked. The venom from a King Cobra consists of extremely potent neurotoxins that attack the victim’s central nervous system. A single bite from a King Cobra can kill a full grown Asian Elephant. It can kill a man in half an hour.

The Red Spitting Cobra

Know Thine Enemy: Red Spitting Cobras vary in color from red to gray. They can grow to about 4 feet in length. What makes this cobra unique is its ability to “spit” or project their venom at their prey. Watch out!

Their hideout: Red Spitting Cobras are native to Africa are most common in that continent’s northeast region. They make their homes in brush and forests. The red spitting cobra is nocturnal, so make sure you zip up your tent!

How mean are they? Like the King Cobra, the Red Spitting Cobra is a timid and shy snake and will only attack when threatened. Unlike the King Cobra with its ultra toxic venom, the Red Spitting Cobra’s venom is much milder. While it may cause extreme sickness, a bite from a Red Spitting Cobra will probably not cause death. However, if the venom gets in your eyes and is not treated quickly, it can cause blindness so still take caution.

The Black Mamba Snake

Know Thine Enemy: The black mamba is the largest and most deadly snake in Africa. It also happens to be the fastest moving snake in the world. In short, this snake is a killing machine. The Black Mamba gets its name not from the fact that it has black skin, but because it is black on the inside of its mouth. The skin of a black mamba is actually gray to olive green. Black mambas can grow to a length of between 7 and 13 feet.

Their hideout: Black mambas make their home in the grasslands of Africa. You can find them primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How mean are they? Black Mambas are mean mothers. They will readily attack when threatened. They’ll make multiple attacks, aiming at the head and body. With each bite, they inject their super deadly venom. One bite from a black mamba has enough venom to kill 120-140 men. The venom paralyzes the muscles used for breathing and the victim consequently dies from suffocation.

An important note: While all this “enemy” language is in good fun, snakes actually play a vital role in our ecosystem. Without them, vermin and critters of many kinds would overrun us. These tips should help you avoid snakes, not seek them out for destruction. Unless it’s a do or die situation, leave the snake alone and move in the other direction.

Guide To Snakes Part 2: How To Avoid & Treat A Snakebite

man getting bit by snake in the face

Yesterday, in Part 1 of the Art of Manliness’ Guide to Snakes, we discussed how to identify various poisonous serpents. But knowing your enemy is only half the battle. You should also know how to avoid being bitten and what to do if you are. Therefore, today in Part 2 we present more necessary man vs. snake knowledge: how to avoid and treat a snakebite.

How to Avoid a Snake Bite

While the behavior of snakes is obviously not 100% predictable, you can minimize your chances of being bitten by taking several basic precautions. If you want to avoid being at the receiving end of a pair of venomous fangs, follow these simple guidelines while out romping in the wilderness:

Avoid tall grass. Many of the snakes mentioned in Part 1 of this post like to hang out in grassy areas and heavy underbrush. If you can, stick to the trails so you can clearly see what you’re stepping on. If you have to go off trail, be attentive lest you inadvertently step on a sleeping rattlesnake. If you must venture through tall grass, carry a stick and use it to probe the ground in front of you. And remember, there are always exceptions to the rule; a snake could very well be curled up in the middle of a well groomed trail. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Remember that snakes can climb. While they’re not squirrels, snakes can slither up trees and bushes. Most people never imagine they’ll see a snake at eye level, and are thus quite vulnerable to an aerial attack. The last thing you want is to feel that forked tongue on your face, so keep your wits about you.

Check before you stick your hand into a crevasse. Because snakes are pure evil, they like to hang out in the dark. Holes, a hollow log, or a crevasse in a rock are perfect places for a snake to hide. So before you go sticking your hand in any dark hole, check to make sure there isn’t a snake (or another critter) in there.

Zombie snake attack. Say you find a dead snake that you want to take and turn into a pair of snakeskin boots. Right on. But be careful when picking it up. Freshly dead snakes still have reflexes and can still bite you if you’re not careful. I’ve seen a dead snake slither around firsthand. It’s really creepy. Plus, many snakes are pretty sloth-like during the daytime. And they’re quite skillful at keeping completely still; it’s how they catch their prey. So a snake sunning himself may look good and dead, but may very well be sleeping with one beady eye open, its little reptilian brain thinking, “Just try it buddy.”

Don’t sleep in the enemy’s lair. Most snakes are nocturnal, so you don’t want to let down your guard come sunset. Don’t make your camp in snake territory. Avoid sleeping near a log or large branch, in tall grass, or next to rocky areas. And of course zip up your tent tight. Snakes may have those fierce fangs, but alas, they lack an opposable thumb. Keep your boots inside the tent (most tents come with shoe pockets) and make sure to zip the tent up again in the morning, lest a snake invite himself in while you’re on a hike.

Wear heavy boots and pants. If you’re going to be out exploring in the uncivilized wilderness, make sure your lower extremities are protected. Heavy boots and pants not only protect against fierce snakes but also your ankle’s other nemesis-ticks.

keenan thompson snakes on a plane

Bonus Tip: Always Check The Overhead Compartment For Snakes

The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Treat a Snake Bite

man getting bit by snake on the hand

No amount of precaution can prevent every bite. Sometimes accidents happen. And if it does happen, it’s important for you to immediately know what to do. Don’t be caught with a snakebite in the middle of the woods, scratching your head trying to remember this stuff; sear it into your brain. Getting bitten by a venomous snake is serious business. While the reactions vary from snake to snake, all venom is essentially designed to immobilize the victim and start the process of digestion. Venom is basically toxic snake saliva, ready to turn you into dinner. So if you’re bitten, seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think the snake is poisonous. Better to be safe than sorry.

Do:

1. Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible. You want to remove as much of the snake’s spit as you can.

2. Keep the bitten area below the heart. This is done to slow the flow of the venom.

3. Take off any rings or watches. The venom is going to make you swell, and jewelry might cut off your circulation.

4. Tightly wrap a bandage two to four inches above the bite. If you can’t reach medical care within 30 minutes, wrap a bandage around the bitten appendage. This is to assist in reducing the flow of venom. You want to make it tight, but not too tight as to completely cut off the appendage’s circulation. That will only cause tissue damage.

5. If you have a snake bite kit, place the suction device over the bite to help draw the venom out of the wound. Leave on for a maximum of ten minutes. If used properly, a suction device can remove up to 30% of the venom.

 

Interesting Fact: “Antivenin” is made by first milking a snake’s fangs for its venom and then injecting a non-lethal dose of that venin into a horse. The horse naturally builds up antibodies to the venom. Its blood is then collected and the antibodies are extracted and made into antivenin for humans. Cool.

 

 

Don’t:

1. Cut the wound. While watching an old Western, you might have seen a cowboy making an incision above the snakebite in order to “drain” the venom. This isn’t a smart move because you increase the chances of causing an infection in the area.

2. Suck the venom. Another remedy we all have seen in the movies is people sucking the venom out with their mouth. You don’t want the venom in your mouth where it can get back into your bloodstream.

3. Apply ice to the wound. Ice can cause tissue and skin damage and inhibits the removal of venom when using a suction device.

4. Panic. If you’ve been bitten, try to avoid freaking out. If you’re with someone who has been bitten, try to keep them calm. The more you move and the faster your heart beats, the quicker the venom is going to be circulated throughout your body. So do your best to stay calm and remain as still as humanely possible.