New Research into Prey Recognition

A paper published in PLOS ONE last year explores the role that proteins called parvalbumins, found in the skin mucous of several amphibian and fish species, play in chemosensory prey detection among two garter snakes (Checkered and Common) and one water snake. “We show that these parvalbumins are chemoattractive for three different thamnophiine snakes, suggesting that these chemicals play a key role in their prey-recognition mechanism. Therefore, we suggest that recognition of parvalbumin-like proteins or other calcium-binding proteins […] could be a generalized prey-recognition process in snakes.”