Rhinoceros Viper

Bitis nasicornis (Viperidae)

Distribution: Central and Western Africa

Habitat: Tropical Jungle

African Rock Python

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About this snake:

Bitis nasicornis is smaller and more docile than its cousin the Gaboon Viper. This snake is also known as the river jack. Its triangular shaped head is smaller than its body. When fully grown this viper measures nearly four feet long. The striking colors and patterns which make it such a beautiful snake actually work as camouflage, helping to conceal the snake in its lush tropical habitat. It has two or three horn like features above each nostril.

There are three different species of puff adders, this snake is one of them. When excited this snake has the capability to enlarge its size by inflating its body. Sometimes it can double its apparant size when displaying this behaviour. It also has a hissing barklike sound.

Rhinoceros Vipers use long fangs, potent venom and powerful jaw muscles to kill their prey. The venom of this snake is hematoxic and can be deadly. Its venom is both heotoxic and neurotoxic. The rhino vipers fangs are controlable in that they can or can not let their fangs out when they open their mouths. The fangs are hollow and the venom flows through the fangs to enter its prey. The fangs are shed periodicly every 6 to 10 weeks. They usually feed on small mammals though they have been seen eating fish and amphibians. This snake's venom is extremely potent and can be fatal to humans! It will usually not bite unless provoked or hungry. Though generly this snake is slow moving, when it strikes for a kill it can be extremly fast.


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