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Breathing occurs even with full mouth: diamondback rattlesnake

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Diamondback rattlesnake / Sven Weber / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

The windpipe of a western diamondback rattlesnake allows breathing with a mouthful of prey because it protrudes from the bottom of the snake's mouth.

FUNCTION
Summary
"A western diamondback rattlesnake strikes at an intruder. The snake's jaws are specially hinged to allow it to open them extremely wide. This is necessary because the fangs curve inwards and need to be plunged vertically into the prey. When not in use they are folded back against the roof of the mouth (see diagram). The snake's windpipe is protruding at the bottom of its mouth -- this is so that the snake can still breathe after it has a mouthful of prey." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:149)
About the inspiring organism
Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
Crotalus atrox BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Common name: Texas-klapperschlange

Habitat(s): Desert, Forest, Grassland, Rocky Areas, Savanna, Shrubland
Learn more at EOL.org
Some organism data provided by: TIGR Reptile Database
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Ventilation strategies for buildings and crowded vehicles, such as buses and subway cars.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Ventilation

References
Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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