Nose-Horned Viper

The Nose-Horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes) is a highly venomous reptile in the Viperidae family of viper snakes. It is a viperid. It is also known as the Horned Viper and Western Sand Viper. Scientists think it might be the most dangerous snake in Europe.

The Nose-Horned Viper has a head covered with small, irregular scales that can be smooth or slightly keeled (ridged). It has 10-13 small scales around its eyes. The nasal (nose) scale is large that looks like a horn with 9-17 smaller scales along it, but it is soft and flexible. 

The male has irregular dark-brown, dark-grey, or black markings and a thick black stripe from its eye to its jaw. The male has V-shaped markings on its back like a zig-zag pattern. The female lacks the dark V-shaped markings on its body, and is browner and more bronze-coloured than the male. Its underbelly can be grey, yellowish-brown, or pinkish. Both have a black tongue and golden or copper-coloured eyes.

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RESEARCH: Snakes know how much venom they have and they won’t attack if they don’t have enough

Not all snakes are venomous, but scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu wanted to know more about venomous snakes.

The researchers studied venomous Sharp-Snouted Pit Vipers (Deinagkistrodon acutus). The New Scientist magazine (22 June 2021) reported the research results.

The aggressive Sharp-Snouted Pit Viper may be able to sense how much venom it has and it won’t attack if it doesn’t have enough venom (poison). 

Previous research indicates that venomous animals, including spiders, scorpions, and snakes, use their venom frugally and carefully because they do not produce a lot of venom. However, previous research did not study the possibility of whether venomous snakes save their venom for specifc situations, such as self-defence.

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Viper Horns

The West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros) is a reptile in the Viperidae family of venomous viper snakes. It is a viperid snake.

The West African Gaboon Viper from Sub-Saharn Africa has a flat, triangular head with a pair of horn-like structures between its nostrils. They are not real horns. They are hard protuberences called rostral horns.

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The Adder (Vipera berus berus) is a venomous snake. It is also known as the Common European Adder or the Common European Viper.

The Adder has a thick body with keeled (ridged or rough) scales and a large head. Its colour and pattern vary, but it is usually light-coloured with small crossbars or entirely brown with faint or clear dark-brown markings. It usually has a zig-zag pattern. Its eyes are quite large.

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Asp Viper

The Asp Viper (Vipera aspis aspis) is a venomous snake in the viper family. It is also known as the European Asp. 

The Asp Viper has a long, slim body with a broad, triangular head, and a distinctive neck. It has an upturned snout (nose). Generally, the male is grey with markings, and the female is grey or brown with markings. The markings are dark-brown to blackish bands with a brown line running down its spine. It has a postocular (below the eye) stripe, more visible on the male.

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Rhinoceros look-alikes: the similarities

The African Rhinoceros is a distinctive animal due to its thick, armoured skin and large curved horn. Rhinoceros means ‘nose with a horn.’

The critically endangered Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is also called the Hook-Lipped Rhinoceros. The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are the Southern White Rhinoceros.

Some animals are described as ‘rhinoceros’ in their scientific or common name because they have a horn that looks like a rhinoceros horn.

The Rhino Catfish (Pterygoplichthys scrophus) from South America is a fish with a ridged, armoured body and two horn-like protrusions from its head that looks like the horns of a rhinoceros. The protrusions are actualy nostril flaps so that water doesn’t get up its nose. Its body is completely covered in small plates that look like armour.

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Taylor’s Cantil Snake

The Taylor’s Cantil (Agkistrodon tylori) is a venomous snake and a reptile. It is related to a pit viper. It is also known as the Ornate Cantil.

The Taylor’s Cantil has a thick dark-brown to black body with white, orange, or yellow bands. It also has white stripes with orange or yellow along both sides of its head and mouth. Its head is triangular. It has long, hinged fangs.

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West African Gaboon Viper

The West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros) is a venomous snake and a reptile. It is also called the Butterfly Adder, the Forest Puff Adder, and the Swampjack.

The West African Gaboon Viper has a large triangular-shaped cream-coloured head, with a dark blue-black triangle behind and below its eyes. It is pale-brown, with dark, yellow-edged patterns along its body. Its belly is pale. It has a pair of horn-like structures between its nostrils. Its eyes are large, moveable, and yellow-white.

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Mexican Green Rattler

The Mexican Green Rattler (Crotalus basiliscus) is a venomous pit viper, native to western Mexico. It is a snake, and a reptile.

The Mexican Green Rattler has a plump body with brown or grey scales. Its scales are diamond (rhombus) shaped with light edges. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a large, distinct grey-brown head. Its tail is dark grey with few markings. On the tip of the tail is its cream-coloured rattle.

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Rhinoceros Horned Viper

The Rhinoceros Horned Viper (Bitis nasicornis) is a venomous snake from West Africa and Central Africa. It is also called a Horned Puff Adder.

The Rhinoceros Horned Viper has a narrow, flat, triangular head with a distinctive set of two or three horn-like scales on the end of its nose. The front pair of horns is quite long. Its eyes are small and are in a forward position on its head. Its fangs are small, about 1.5 centimetres (half an inch) long.

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