|Image: Josh More|
|Image: Greg Hume|
Whoa! Someone needs to do a few miles on the treadmill!
And what a beautiful body it is! Some Rhinoceros Vipers are covered in various shades of brown, which serves as great camouflage when they hang about in the midst of leaf litter and tree roots...
|Image: Terese Hart|
And you have a lot of time to admire them because Rhinoceros Vipers enjoy a good, long lie-down. While they have been seen swimming in rivers and climbing up to 3 metres (10 feet) up a tree, they usually spend their time lying in wait on the ground. When they need to actually move around the place they do so very sluggishly.
|Image: Bernard DUPONT|
When a small mammal, or possibly a frog, wanders too close, the Rhinoceros Viper strikes with shocking speed and punishing accuracy. They bite, fangs delve into flesh and powerful toxins are injected, The venom sets about attacking the circulatory system, causing tissue damage and internal bleeding.
Video: Канал корисника nigrescens
The Rhinoceros Viper is extremely dangerous, but they're mercifully placid compared to some, more ill-tempered, snakes. And if you wander through the forests of Africa one evening and unknowingly approach a well-camouflaged Rhino, it may provide you with a stern warning.
Rhinoceros Vipers are one of several species that are also known as Puff Adders. When they feel threatened they puff themselves up, expanding their already considerable girth, and hiss loudly.
Now you know you're about to step on a massive, venomous snake. Thanks, massive venomous snake!
|Image: H. Krisp|
It's a shame, really. We were this close to a venomous, stinging schnoz. Maybe next time...