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Contact: Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
March 1, 2002

Carnegie Mellon Researchers and Pittsburgh Zoo Specialists Develop Techniques To Analyze The Anatomy Of A Snake Attack
Pittsburgh Zoo

PITTSBURGH—Pittsburgh Zoo reptile handlers Herb Ellerbrock and Ray Bamrick along with Carnegie Mellon University researchers Adnan Akay, Oliviero Giannini and Zhaoshun Xu have developed a "constrict-o-meter" to gauge the constriction pressure of an 18-foot, 130-pound Burmese python. The research, which spans several months, enlisted the expertise of zoo herpetologists and researchers from Carnegie Mellon's Mechanical Engineering Department. Under the direction of Professor Akay, the snake research team developed a 12-inch hand sensor used to probe the constriction strength of pythons at feeding time. Their research will be featured this fall on Animal Planet, a program available to more than 77 million homes nationwide. The network is dedicated to airing programs about the connection between humans and animals.

WHEN: 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2
WHERE: The Pittsburgh Zoo, Highland Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.


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