The pit vipers collection of snakes comprises some of their most beautiful and many venomous and dangerous snake species on earth.
These snakes have been predators and exceptional predators, and have some awesome evolutionary adaptations to help them find and kill their unlucky victim.
This group of snakes contains quite well-known species like the copperhead, rattlesnakes, and also the cottonmouth or water moccasin.
Occasionally referred to as pit adders or crotaline snakes, read on to find the answers, if you want to learn more regarding the pit vipers.
So what is a pit viper?
Let me start off from the fact that all pit vipers belong to the Viperidae family, but perhaps not all snakes which are members of the Viperidae family are pit vipers. The pit vipers are considered as a subfamily of the Viperidae family.
As an example, the gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) found in Africa is a viper although perhaps not a pit viper on the other hand that the golden lancehead (Bothrops insularis) is a pit viper only found at a very small island of the coast of Brazil.
To comprehend the difference we will need to analyze the expression “pit viper”. The associates of the Viperidae loved ones are called vipers, but a few vipers also have heat-sensing pits situated between the nostril and the eye, hence their common name pit vipers.
These pits are thermoreceptors capable of discovering minimal temperature differences, which assists them to track and hunt their warm-blooded prey. Some species like the carpet pythons have organs that are similar to help them find prey in the dark.
Where can we locate pit vipers?
The pit vipers are prevalent and can be located in most continents, but Antarctica for obvious reasons, Africa and even Australia. They’re located in South and North America, Asia, and even parts of the continent.
The many pit viper snake species have adapted and inhabit a wide array of habitats, from deserts, forests to jungles, and are capable of surviving in habitats farther north and south of the equator than most other snakes.
There are arboreal and terrestrial and even semi-aquatic species like the Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Some pit vipers can be located at high altitudes like China’s Tibetan Pit Viper (Gloydius Strouchi), located at elevations over 4000 meters.
Astonishingly Australia which is home to a number of the most venomous snakes on earth like the inland taipan, is not occupied by any pit viper species.
How large can pit vipers get?
The South American bushmaster (Lachesis muta muta) is the largest of all pit vipers and can reach a span of 12 ft (3,5m), the smallest pit vipers just reach around two feet (60 cm). However, typical pit vipers are between 3 and 5 feet long (90 to 150 cm).
How do pit vipers reproduce?
For the most part pit viper are ovoviviparous snake species, meaning that they are livebearers and give birth to dwell infant snakes. The egg-laying pit vipers or oviparous snakes include the Bushmasters, Malayan pit viper, and some species of bamboo viper.
The brood size is quite variable and may be as little as 2 hatchlings for smaller pit viper species as well as large as 85 for its fer-de-lance (Bothrops Atrox), the most elusive of the live-bearing snakes.
Are all pit vipers venomous and dangerous to people?
In one word YES, all of the pit viper snake species are venomous, but their kind of venom and its toxicity varies considerably from species to species.
Are pit vipers harmful to individuals, at a word NO.
For example, both the Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the South American bushmaster (Lachesis muta) are thought of pit vipers, however, their venom’s effectiveness is rather different. A bite from a juvenile South bushmaster can be fatal Though there are few deaths from copperhead bites.
How many varieties of pit vipers are all there?
Taxonomy, that’s how scientists classify creatures is an ever-changing topic. From the current pit viper subfamily classification, there are 151 snake species and 18 genera. Here’s a listing of pit viper Genus, typical names where are they found, and current variety of species.