Trivia question for Nov-13-2011
Olivia loves reptiles so it is no wonder she picked this for her trivia. In their home range, nearly half of all serious snakebites to humans come from this snake.
Found in all habitats except true deserts, rain forests, and (tropical) alpine habitats. Most often associated with rocky grasslands. Normally a sluggish species that relies on camouflage for protection. Locomotion is primarily rectilinear, using their broad ventral scales in a caterpillar fashion and aided by their own weight for traction. When agitated, they can resort to a typical serpentine movement and move with surprising speed. Although mainly terrestrial, these snakes are good swimmers and can also climb with ease; often they are found basking in low bushes.
So here are Olivia’s question’s: Tell us what this snake is called and tell us how soon after the babies hatch from their eggs that they can hunt and kill prey? Also, tell us what the original name for these snakes was and how it got changed? Finally, as a bonus tell us what their body fat is used for in tribal medicine?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations goes out to Mickey from Sarasota FL for being the first to identify the snake we featured. This snake is known as the Puff-Adder. Common names include puff adder, African puff adder, and common puff adder. They are a venomous viper species found in savannah and grasslands from Morocco and western Arabia throughout Africa except for the Sahara and rain forest regions. It is responsible for causing the most fatalities in Africa owing to various factors, such as its wide distribution and frequent occurrence in highly populated regions.
The question about ‘how soon after the babies hatch from their eggs’ was a trick question because they are actually live born. They do develop in a egg casing within the mother but that casing is broken as they emerge which means they are considered to be ‘live born’. Since they come-out without being in an egg, they are filly capable of seeking and killing prey as soon as they are born.
The original name for these snakes was ‘nadder; but changed as people misheard ‘a nadder’ as ‘an adder’. It takes its full name from the way it puffs up its body to intimidate both predators and prey. Local tribes use the body fat of these hearty snakes as a tribal medicine to cure rheumatism. Here is more on these deadly snakes: Puff-Adder
Thanks for playing along 🙂