sandford28's picture

Slow worm

Observed: 11th June 2011 By: sandford28sandford28’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilessandford28’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
slow worm
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the naturalist man's picture

Slow worm

Slow worms were once believed to be poisonous. There is an article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society from 1761 (Observations on noxious Animals in England; by the Rev. Richard Forster) where he discounts this commonly held belief -

"In June 1751, I had a woman, Jane Seymour, of this place, helming of straw, i.e. laying it straight . . . The woman squalled out, all of a sudden, that an adder (viper) in the straw had stung her by the finger . . . The woman's husband . . . found a slow-worm, and killed him directly. . . During this bustle, the woman's ailment was quite forgot, and she fell to work again, as if nothing had happened."

The full article can be found on Google books.

Graham Banwell

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