The Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) is a venomous viper located along the equatorial belt of Africa, East, and Central Africa and southeast Africa. From the African Portuguese-speaking Nations, it could be found in Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and northern Mozambique
But they are also located in Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
The Gaboon viper preferred types of habitat would be the sub-Saharan tropical rain forests and woodlands around the fringes of those forests. They can be seen as large as 1500 up to 2000 meters, although they are found for the most part at the lower altitudes. The species is mostly nocturnal.
The species can also be commonly known among other names as bark jack, blossom adder, Gaboon adder or woods puff adder (never to be mistaken with the puff adder).
The Gaboon viper is not only the most significant member of this genus Bitis is also the heaviest venomous snake in Africa. It reaches lengths up to 1.8 meters (6 ft) and may weigh as much as a excess of 20 kg in some instances.
Their enormous weight surpasses even the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake the largest rattlesnake species, making the gaboon viper the world’s heaviest venomous snake. Even the gaboon viper resides for about 18 years in the wild.
It includes a large triangular shaped head that divides to a narrow neck as well as their thick and large body. Females are larger, and thicker compared to male snakes.
Among the venomous snakesthey comprise the biggest fangs, the teeth of a grownup Gaboon viper can measure about 5 cm (2 inches).
The West African Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros) subspecies has something such as a pair of”horns” located between the nostrils. It’s an extremely characteristic brown ring on the head. The body is light, with tan markings, yellow and beige, which provides its camouflage from the forest floor and fallen leaves.
Their midbody dorsal scales are strongly keeled while the ones the outer rows on each side of the body aren’t.
At this time, there are 2 subspecies known by scientists, such as the nominate subspecies East African Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica gabonica) and the West African Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros).
East African Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica gabonica – Bibron & Duméril, 1854) – Found in several states of Central, eastern and southern Africa.
West African Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros – Schlegel, 1855) – Located in West Africa. The western subspecies can be regarded as a different species (B. rhinoceros).
Can a Gaboon viper kill you?
The Gaboon viper inoculates a highly potent venom to humans and other animals. The venom itself isn’t considered particularly toxic in comparison to that of King Cobra and Black mamba.
The Gaboon viper venom is cytotoxic, this means it attacks and destroy cells and tissues. It’s injected due to the massive size in large quantities. They are considered snakes and do not attack people should they feel threatened unless they are severely provoked , they might hiss.
They produce the biggest amount of venom of any venomous snake. The venom return is affected by the size of the snake and ranges from 200 up to 1000 mg of venom.
The length of this fangs up to two inches, outcomes from the venom being pumped deep into the victim’s body. Viper bites humans are rather rare, individuals tend to be intimidated if they step on the snake, even in that case this species seldom bites.
Their sting causes swelling at the bitten place, extreme pain, severe shock and local blistering. Other ailments include the drop in interrupted vision, nausea, blood pressure, convulsions, unconsciousness, and internal bleeding.
Nearby tissue damage may require surgical excision and possibly amputation.The recovery is slow and deaths have happened in this recovery period.
Their diet is made up mainly of mammals and birds, but they also eat rodents and insects. A grownup Gaboon viper is capable of feeding a full grown rabbit. They catch their prey in an style instead of searching their prey down.
Contrary to other vipers, they will strike their prey and hang on to it with their own huge fangs as opposed to releasing it and wait for it to die.
Throughout the peak of sexual activity at the breeding season, male snakes may participate in a type of ritualized fights against every other.Rubbing that their chins against each other, one raises the mind high, another one does the exact same and they intertwine their entire body.
Girls can breed only every 2 to 3 decades, or even in periods around 5 years.The gestation interval takes about 12 months and they usually give birth in late summer.
The Gaboon Viper’s teens are about 30 cm long and weigh between 25g and 45g. It’s a viviparous snake species, which means that they give birth to live offspring.
The IUCN has yet to evaluate the gaboon viper for your IUCN Red List. Gaboon vipers have many predators including birds, lizards, and even fish or cats when they’re young, but their predator will be the human populations that share their habitat.
Gaboon vipers are murdered by individuals from fear and for their meat. Nevertheless, these snakes are not deemed to be endangered in the wild.
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