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The horrible bite of the Gabon viper

Their long tusks can pierce the thick skin of an elephant

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The horrible bite of the Gabon viper

The fangs of Gabon viper (Bitis gabonica) are longest in kingdom of snakes: y measure more than five centimeters, and can pierce thick skin of an elephant or boot of an explorer. Their length allows m to reach, through muscles, to large blood vessels. The bite is devastating: at each bite, it can inoculate six hundred milligrams of toxin - a lethal cocktail that is hemotoxic, cytotoxic and neurotoxic - enough to kill an African elephant or 100 adult people like you or me.

The Gabon viper is largest member of genus Bitis and heaviest viper that exists: up to two meters in length and twelve kilos in weight. Luckily, unlike or relatives of genus Bitis, she is shy and prefers to go unnoticed, mimicking dead leaves of ground, rar than attacking. Not like her cousin ram-snake (Bitis arietans), a bad bug that snorts before launching its blinding attack and is responsible for more deaths than any or African snake.

The poisonous apparatus of vipers (snakes, bells, and moccasins) is most evolved among ophidians, with retractable fangs that open like blade of a razor at time of biting, and several spares on each side of jaw, such as bullets in magazine of an automatic pistol. The family of vipéridos comprises about 50 species, all of m poisonous.

Surucucú silencioso

To surucucú, matabuey snake, shushupé or mute rattle (Lachesis muta), formidable inhabitant of tropical jungles of Central America and South America, Dutch settlers of Guayana called bushmaster (lord of jungle), name by which still today it known. It is largest viper that exists (can measure more than three meters); ir venomous glands are huge; his tusks, almost as long as those of Gabon viper; and although its venom, hemotoxic and necrotizing, is not particularly powerful, inoculates it in doses so high that its bite is always very serious and often deadly.

The surucucú is so large that employee of a rubber plantation in Colombia confused one of se vipers with a harmless boa, tied a rope around his neck and took it as a puppy. Fortunately for him, surucucú is of calm temperament (although also it is said that can be very aggressive) and nothing happened. Its generic name refers to Lachesis, one of fates that in Greco-Roman mythology cut thread of life. Despite its imposing and fearsome appearance, which has earned it nickname "dumb death", female surucucú is a good mor: only viper that incubates eggs and takes care of ir nest until offspring are born.


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