Wild Fact #715 – All About the Eyes – Eyelash Viper

Photo from Wikimedia

I hope everyone enjoyed last weeks edition of Wild Facts where we discussed various animals that have become extinct for one reason or another.  Today we are going to go back to learning about animals that are still roaming this wild earth.  Monday’s Wild Fact was chosen as a result of the weather in the Yukon Territory this weekend.  How could the weather dictate a Wild Fact, you ask?  Well, much to my dismay we managed to get almost a foot of snow last week (in September, I know!!) so I wanted to write about an animal that would never be found living in these cold climates.  If you can’t tell, I am not even close to being ready for winter yet.  All right, so what animal depicts my escape to warmer climates?  Of course it is a slippery, slithery snake called the Eyelash Viper.

Naturally the Eyelash Viper is a venomous snake which is found in Central and South America.  Although poisonous they are relatively small snakes averaging about 75 cm (2.5′) in length.  Don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t want a two and a half foot viper slithering all over me in the middle of the Rain-forest but at least they aren’t 30 feet long like some pythons.  It is not uncommon to see the Eyelash Viper in zoos and other exhibits.  They have a wide range of colours which would definitely appeal to the crowds.

View of their Eyelashes - Photo by: Tad Arensmeier (Wikimedia)

This particular snake would not be called the “Eyelash” Viper for no reason, right?  Of course not!  They get this name due to a set of scales over their eyes which looks like eyelashes.  Biologists believe these scales assist the snake with their camouflage.  I know you are probably questioning how this helps them blend in.  Well with eyelashes predators mistake them for humans and often leave them alone.  Obviously, I am kidding but seriously these scales help break up the snakes outline among the trees where it hides.  This way the other animals don’t realize that it is a streamlined, sneaky snake hiding in the leaves.

I mentioned that the Eyelash Viper is a venomous snake so just how dangerous are they?  If you are a small animal than their bite could very well be fatal.  For larger animals including humans the bite isn’t usually deadly unless they manage to inject a large amount of venom.  Luckily for us the Eyelash Viper is not an aggressive snake, however, they will attack the instant they are touched.  Since they are usually hanging out in the trees humans usually get bit in the hands or arms so be careful when you are walking through the Rain-forest.

That does it for the tropical animal of the day.  I guess I will go back to looking at the snow.  Have a good one, folks!

3 Responses

  1. Carmen Henesy 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago
  2. taylor 2 years ago

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