The polymerization of thrombin and ancrod fibrin monomers was studied with a standardized technique that evaluated turbidity changes and protein incorporation into the clot. Ancrod fibrin monomers were found to polymerize more slowly and form less turbid clots (at identical protein concentrations). Changes in ionic strength and pH influences ancrod fibrin monomer polymerization to a greater extent than thrombin fibrin monomer polymerization. Benzyltriethylammonium chloride was shown to be a potent inhibitor of fibrin monomer polymerization, with a greater inhibitory effect on ancrod fibrin monomers than on thrombin fibrin monomers. The differences between ancrod and thrombin fibrin may play a role in the infrequent thrombotic complications reported with ancrod therapy.