Other names: Otter
Latin name: Viperidae
size: 30 cm - 3 m (depending on the species)
Older: 10 - 15 years
Appearance: u.a. brown, gray and green pattern possible
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Amphibians, small mammals and reptiles
distribution: Europe, Asia, Africa and America
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: day, twilight or nocturnal (depending on species)
habitat: depending on the species
natural enemies: Buzzard, fox, polecat, heron, eagle owl, wild boar
sexual maturityafter about 3 to 4 years
mating season: depending on species and location
oviposition: 4 - 20 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the Viper
- The Vipers or Viperidae, also called Otters, describe a family of poisonous snakes. The vipers are assigned several hundred species, which are divided into nearly forty genera, including the pit vipers and the real vipers. The pit vipers include, for example, the well-known rattlesnakes.
- Vipers are as common in Europe and Asia as in Africa and America. However, they are found neither in Australia and the islands of the Pacific nor in Madagascar.
- Thirteen species of vipers live in Europe, with the common adder and aspis viper considered to be the most prominent representatives of these poisonous snakes.
- Depending on the species, the Viper can reach a body length of up to three meters, but the smallest of them only reach a height of thirty centimeters. The adder has a length of about eighty centimeters.
- Vipers are predominantly twilight and nocturnal snakes, which is why they have slotted, vertically extending pupils of elliptical shape.
- Most species show an inconspicuous coloration and pattern, which appears in shades of brown and gray, rarely in green.
- Allen Vipers are the squat and massive shape, the conspicuous triangular skull and the short tail in common.
- The Viper has very movable fangs, which can be folded when closing the mouth and are hollow inside. During the bite they penetrate deeply and vertically into the tissue of the prey, which facilitates the injection of the poison.
- The poison has a hematotoxic effect, which means that it destroys blood cells and leads to internal bleeding of the skin and respiratory tract, the brain and the digestive tract. Neurotoxic components cause additional signs of paralysis in prey animals.
- Although the bite of an adder is very painful, it is rarely associated with serious complications in healthy adults. In the case of children, the weakened or the elderly, however, it is necessary to seek medical help immediately after the bite and to administer an antiserum because of mortal danger.
- Vipers are Lauerjäger who capture small mammals, amphibians and small reptiles. These are swallowed after injecting the poison as a whole.
- Depending on the species, vipers are oviparous or already hatch the eggs in the body.