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Family - Viperidae

(Vipers and Pit-vipers)


Viperidae is a family of compact, sturdy snakes, most of which have a broad triangular head, small, ridged scales, a short tail, and drab coloration. The genus Vipera, with about 15 species is typical: the moderately large head is broader than the neck, the eyes have vertical pupils, the tail is short and conical, body scales are strongly keeled , and the anal shield is undivided. Many of these vipers are ovoviviparous, which is a mode of reproduction in animals in which embryos develop inside eggs that are retained within the mother's body until they are ready to hatch.


Viper venom is generally blood-poisoning and is injected down hollowed fangs, which rotate back against palate when the mouth is closed. There are about 100 species, occurring in Europe, Asia, and Africa They live in deserts, forests, oceans, streams, oceans, and lakes. There are a few areas where vipers do not live. They could not survive in places where the ground stays frozen year around, so they are missing in the polar regions or at high mountain elevations. Several islands, including Ireland, Iceland, and New Zealand, do not have vipers.


Author: Christian C

Published: 12/2009


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