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Puff adder

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posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 08:54 PM
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Slow-moving, bad-tempered and excitable snake that may hiss or puff when disturbed. When annoyed, it strikes vigorously in all directions and has the capability of a lightning-fast sideways strike without withdrawing the head. Fortunately it often gives warning of its intentions by hissing noisily. It relies on its perfect camouflage to escape detection and will rather freeze than move off. Moves in caterpillar fashion leaving straight deep track in the sand


The Puff Adder is one of the three largest vipers of Africa, the other two are: the Gaboon Viper(Bitis gabonica) & the Rhinoceros Viper(Bitis nasicornis.) The Puff Adder is second largest after the Gaboon Viper which can reach lengths of nearly seven ft. and is the heaviest viper in the world. The Puff Adder can also attain a very large size, and I have had in my possession a specimen that was nearly five ft. in length, and approximately as big around as a football; a very impressive snake! It died about a month after I purchased it, probably from liver damage due to over feeding by its previous owner. It was much too large for hooks to be of any use. These snakes feed voraciously and care must be taken not to over feed them

The Puff Adder has a very well developed solenoglyphous venom delivery system. The venom is injected through its large hollow fangs like hypodermic needles and it sometimes, but not often, holds on to its victim. The approximate lethal dose of venom for humans is 100mg. and from 100-350mg. may be injected in a single bite. The symptoms of Puff Adder envenomation may include: intense pain, massive swelling, abdominal cramping, high fever, the victim may go in and out of shock, breathing may become increasingly difficult, there is usually extensive subcutaneous bruising and blood blisters form rapidly. Death from Puff Adder bite usually occurs two to four days after envenomation, most often from complications arising from blood volume deficit and the development of a disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. Death has occured in under thirty-minutes from intravenous injection of venom, resulting in catastrophic circulatory collapse. Death sometimes occurs from anaphylactic shock or organ failure due to the extensive swelling



The Puff Adder is a fat snake with a huge, triangular head and prominent cheeks containing two long, curved fangs which are hinged at the front of the mouth. The rear third of the body tends to be the broadest - about the thickness of a man's forearm for a snake of about 1 metre in length. This considerable bulk results in the Puff Adder being very slow, and since it is usually not fast enough to make a getaway, it will tend to coil and adopt a defensive posture, ready to strike at anything that moves within its range. This initial movement is what may warn a hiker of its presence. This is accompanied by intense and furious huffing which is sure to grab your undivided attention! Because of its weight, this snake is quite capable of penetrating synthetic shoes and even thin leather with its long fangs! Its movement is similar to that of a python, since it propels itself mainly by "walking" on its ribs rather than slithering
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Mod Edit: to restore thread format


[edit on 13-9-2005 by kinglizard]




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