Snakes are of major importance as pest controllers because of their extensive predation on destructive mammals such as rats and mice. Some, like the sea snakes and pythons, are highly regarded as food in Asia but, although most are probably edible, snakes are not widely used for meat. The skin is often used for belts, bags, and shoes. Venom is removed from snakes for use in treating certain diseases and to make antivenin for snakebites.
See also snake worship.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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