Camouflaged Snake, fer de lance

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Camouflaged Snake, fer_de_lance, EL_DP700
© Copyright Dan L. Perlman, 2005-2007

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Camouflaged fer-de-lance snake, Costa Rica. The fer-de-lance or terciopelo, as it is known in Costa Rica, is a deadly poisonous viper. These snakes can grow to more than 2 yd (2 m) in length, are quite aggressive (unlike most other vipers), and are extraordinarily well camouflaged, as this image demonstrates. Like other pit vipers, their fangs stay folded up on the roof of the mouth until just before the strike, and they can deliver the better part of a cubic inch (several cubic centimeters) of venom. Their venom breaks down blood and muscle tissue, essentially beginning the process of digesting the prey even before it is swallowed. As with other pit vipers, these snakes have a pair of small heat-sensing organs near the fronts of their heads; these organs allow them to sense mammals moving nearby, even in the dark. If you cannot find the snake, look in the upper left quadrant, between the tree roots. You can also consult the companion image, which shows the snake circled in red.

title Camouflaged_Snake, fer_de_lance, EL_DP700
group Fer de lance
common name Fer de lance
scientific name Bothrops asper
taxonomic group Viperidae
continent North America
country Costa Rica
city/place/location La Selva Biological Station
date1 yyyymmdd 1998
source Dan L. Perlman
Ecological interactions Predation
Selection and adaptations Coloration
Coloration Camouflage
Organisms Animals
Animals Reptiles
Lessons Mimicry and Camouflage

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