posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 03:33 PM
This snake holds the distinction of having killed more people than any other.
Saw-scaled vipers (Echis carinatus), also known as "carpet" vipers, live in areas of sandy soil and rock outcroppings in Africa, India and parts of
the Middle East. They are grey or brownish in colour, patterned on the body with brownish blotches, a wavy white stripe, and a dark cross on their
heads. When aroused, they coil and twist, rubbing their serrated scales against each other to create a sound similar to that of a saw cutting wood and
it is this characteristic noise that gave its name. This is usually a warning prior to fast leaping strikes to defend itself. Saw-scaled vipers are
quick to strike, and their venom is highly toxic to humans
This viper, this small desert ranging snake is considered the most dangerous snake over its habitat. Mortality from
this snakes bite exceed 80% and a lethal dose can be inflicted by a specimen less than 12 inches long. The powerful venom is hemotoxic causing massive
bleeding at the wound site and internally causing great pain. Saw-scaled vipers are so called due to the serrated scales on their lower flanks, which
are dragged across each other as the snake uses its figure of eight threat display
Active by day but in desert areas may remain hidden by day and go hunting by night. Has a very nasty disposition and this species never hesitates to
strike if roused. When suddenly roused coils back with lightning speed as an act of defiance. It is capable of delivering a lightning fast strike and
regaining its position of defiance leaving its challenger perplexed. Never likes to be handled but once in captivity may go and coil up in a corner
and remain oblivious to external stimuli but almost always turns vicious when attempted to handle.
Feeds mainly on mice, centipedes, lizards and scorpions. This snake is an opportunist and the prey is often first given a lethal dose of venom, let
go and consumed once dead. However this snake due to its small size may be preyed upon by larger snakes such as Kraits and Sand Boas. Often it may
unwittingly attack much larger prey such as desert rats get the worse of it with the result often being fatal to the Viper.
[edit on 19-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]