Evolution of Venomous Snakes

            There are many types of venomous animals like the lizards, scorpions, even snake_mainthe male duckbilled platypus. But my main focus for this blog are snakes. There are more than 2,200 species of poisonous and venomous snakes in the world. Snakes lost both arms and legs due to grassy and subterranean habitats, but evolution has handed snakes the ultimate weapon: venom. How did they evolve into venom-injecting beast and how is venom still evolving into society today?
            Snakes emerged during the Cretaceous period from lizards, but Dr Bryan Grieg Fry at the University of Melbourne believes, "that almost all snakes share a common, venomous, ancestor". Venomous snakes have similar classes of protein in their venom, suggesting that in the vast difference of habitats, snake’s venom derived from a common origin.

Venom itself also evolved, its toxins and rattlesnake_02tfkproteins being reborn from other proteins in tissues throughout the snake’s body. snake-venom toxins were derived originally from proteins in the brain, eye, lung, heart, liver, muscle, mammary gland, ovary and testis. By tweaking the proteins from other body tissues, snakes developed a way to create more specific and highly potent toxins.

Venom is still evolving today in medicine, having a beneficial effect on the body. For example, some poisons reduce blood pressure so quickly that the victim dies. But by changing and reproducing some components in venom, scientists can make a drug that reduces blood pressure.

Further Questions:
What other types of medicine can venom be substituted in?
Did venomous and poisonous snakes also evolved from the same ancestor?
Which venom is the most potent?