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Ableton, Drafts, Music, Video, Writing

SNAKE FANG v2

09.30.08 | Comment?

Still working on this one, not sure if it’s going anywhere.  I’m playing around with the TAL dub delay free plugin, video warp markers in live, and the camel audio camel space effect plugin.  And these are some trees.


Snake Fang v2 from Main Sequence on Vimeo.

Here’s something I’m working on at school that’s not related at all:

Snakes on the Plains

Just after the demise of the dinosaurs–about 65 million years ago–dense forests receded, giving way to grasslands.  In these open fields, primitive snakes–ancient relatives of boas and pythons–found that large muscular bodies left them too slow to catch a rapidly diversifying population of mammals.  Smaller snakes had the agility to catch prey, but lacked the sheer strength to subdue or kill it.  Enter the fang.

Like the beaks on Darwin’s finches, fangs–and their accompanying venom glands–are adapted to specific purposes and different quarry.  Some snakes have fangs in the back of the mouth to hold prey while venom takes effect; others have fangs up front, ready to deliver a lethal first-strike.  Herpetologists debated whether these two types of fangs were related, but in July researchers announced evidence pointing to a common evolutionary origin.

“We couldn’t turn back the clock to look at how they [fangs] evolved, so we were looking at how they develop to give us a clue” said Kate Jackson of Whitman College, one of the study’s authors.  Looking at  present-day snake embryos, the team found that rear-fanged snakes like the garter, and front-fangers like cobras and vipers, develop their hardware in the back of the mouth first.  Embryonic tooth-bearing tissue in the upper jaw splits into front and back sections.  In garters the front turns into teeth; in cobras and vipers, it shrinks as their fangs move forward.  This splitting allowed each piece to evolve independently, equipping snakes to conquer the many ecological niches in which we find them today.

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