Did You Know? – Puff Adder

This weeks factsheet – Puff Adder!

Puff adder Scientific name:  Bitis Arietans  Description: South African snake with distinct scales and pattern.  Habitat: Widespread throughout most of Sub-saharan Africa. Variable habitat from sand forest to coast they occur anywhere there is food.  Venom: Very potent cytotoxic venom. Responsible for cell damage and tissue necrosis which in severe cases can lead to death. Fang: Long, hinged front fang.  Size: Average 60-80cm (females larger). Have been found over one metre in length.  Hunting Technique: Ambush predators - Puff Adders rely heavily on their camoflague for both hunting and protection. This does however lead to them being trodden on as they do not move out of the way. With a fast strike they immobilise their prey with venom before it has even acknowledged them. Deadly to Humans.   Breeding: Ovoviviparous. Eggs are not laid, instead the female incubates the leather-like eggs within her body where they hatch before exiting. Around 20-40 juveniles are born with both fangs and venom and are considered to be more dangerous than adults as they have no control over the amount of venom they inject into their prey.  Diet:  Predominantly rodents, however will also eat amphibians and birds when available.  Did you know: - Puff Adders is from the way they puff/hiss when disturbed. - Despite their short, chubby appearance Puff adders are very good swimmers.

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