22 January 2021
Vol 371, Issue 6527

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER Some cobras, such as this Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica), use venom spitting as an effective long-range defense mechanism. The three origins of venom spitting in snakes coincide with convergent changes to venom composition, allowing venom to serve a defensive function by producing enhanced pain in the recipient. These findings emphasize that evolution can funnel complex adaptations down repeatable pathways. See page 386.
Photo: Guy Edwardes/NPL/Minden Pictures