Professor Gordon Burghardt has a new article out in Journal of Comparative Psychology with Akira Mori called, “Do tiger keelback snakes (Rhabdophis tigrinus) recognize how toxic they are?” (DOI: 10.1037/com0000075)
The findings of the article have been picked up by places like New Scientist. Tiger keelback snakes do not make their own venom; they store and use toxins from the food they eat. Individuals that have been fed a diet of toxic toads display more aggressive behavior when threatened, unlike their non-toxic brethren, who typically slither away. This raises the question of how the snakes know whether they are toxic or not.