by Breanna Draxler
Colorado is home to 20-some species of snake. Of these, only three fall into the category of venomous pitvipers–the prairie rattlesnake, the midget faded rattlesnake, and the western diamond back rattlesnake. But apparently three venomous species of snake are not enough to keep Robert Jadin occupied.
Jadin is a scientist in CU’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is also an expert in neotropical pitvipers. In order to research these venomous snakes, Jadin has traveled to snake beds all over the Western Hemisphere, including areas in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
This week Jadin is back in Boulder to share some of his recent findings about the diversity and evolutionary history of these venomous snakes.
In the last two decades, scientists have discovered and described 25 new pitviper species. This brings the total number of pitviper species in North and South America to 115.
Jadin studies the morphology of the snakes as well as their molecular biology. Having a better understanding of the snakes means scientists also have a better understanding of snake bites. This is essential for creating and administering antivenom.
Jadin will be sharing stories and pictures from his research adventures this Thursday, March 15. The lecture will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History.