Vipers are venomous snakes that live in every part of the world but Antarctica, Australia, Hawaii, Madagascar, a few islands, and north of the Arctic Circle. Rattlesnakes are among the most common vipers in North America.
Vipers are known for their ability to track and strike prey. Most vipers are nocturnal. They use heat-sensing pits, organs by their nostrils, to detect warm-blooded animals. When they find prey, they strike quickly and immediately retract their fangs. The prey is not immediately immobilized but continues to move for a time. Vipers can smell proteins injected into the prey, which aids in finding the animal in the dark.
Keywords to learn
Nocturnal: active at nigh
Immobilized: unable to move
Necrosis: death of skin, muscles, and other tissues
Hey Kids, my name is Val the Viper and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
- Lifespan:8-12 years.
- Scientific Name:Viperidae.
- Mass:Varies based on species.
- Length:Varies based on species.
- Region found:Most of the world.
- Population Status:Least concern.
- Current population trend:Stable.
- Sexual maturity:2 years.
As you have just learned, vipers are known for their fierce hunting ability and deadly venom. Now that you know more about the viper by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Viper here: Viper (answers are on this page)
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Viper Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. Vipers have long, hollow fangs that can rotate to the tops of their mouths when not in use.
- # 2. Vipers can adjust how much venom they inject into a victim, depending on the prey’s size. It takes a while to make more venom, so vipers release the smallest amount possible. Their venom works by immobilizing prey. Proteins in the venom begin breaking down the prey’s tissue, making it easier for the viper to digest.
- # 3. Sometimes a viper will make a dry strike in self-defense, such as against humans. In this case, no venom is released into the body.
- # 4. Viper venom causes pain, swelling, necrosis, blood loss, and low blood pressure. A viper bite is very serious and can lead to death.
- # 5. Vipers usually have a triangle-shaped head and slit-shaped eyes.
# 1. How can you usually tell a viper from other types of snakes?
# 2. What are the symptoms of a viper bite?
# 3. Where in the world do vipers live?
# 4. Describe the viper’s unusual hunting talent?
# 5. Describe a viper’s fangs?