The Largest and the Most Poisonous Snakes Found in the Americas
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The Largest and the Most Poisonous Snakes Found in the Americas

Largest poisonus snake of the Americas

The largest poisonous snake of the Americas is the bushmaster Lachisis muta muta that lives in Central America, South America and Trinidad. This large snake has a fierce temperament and is one of the few snakes in the world that will actually go on the attack. It is equipped with the second-longest fangs of any snake in the world that is only exceeded by the Gaboon viper of Central and South Africa. It has a very potent hemotoxic venom that affects the bloodstream causing damage to the red blood cells, degeneration of the internal organs and causes extensive tissue damage at the point of the bite. The snake will strike several times in the course of an attack.

The snake habitat is usually the deep jungles that are found in the range where it lives. It's brief for food is small rodents, birds and other snakes. Being nocturnal in nature the snake is particularly dangerous to humans because they can blunder into it in the dark. The snake lays 8 to 12 eggs in the spring of the year. So deadly is their venom that even juvenile snakes are capable of delivering a fatal bite to humans.

Although this is the largest poisonous snake in the western hemisphere it is not the most poisonous that distinction belongs to another member of the family, the Golden Lancehead, that lives on a small island off the coast of Brazil. This snake normally feeds on birds. Its extremely potent poison is so its dinner doesn't fly off before the snake can catch its dinner. What makes this snake especially dangerous is because it's habitat is not only on the ground, but in shrubs and trees too.

The Brazilian government established a lighthouse on the small island several years ago. So many lighthouse keepers were killed by this snake that the Brazilian government had to give up the idea of maintaining a manned lighthouse on the island. This particular island is now off limits to practically everybody with the exception of scientists who are studying the snake and other wildlife found on the island.

Raymond Ditmars (1879 – 1942) the world-famous herpetologist who was based at the Bronx zoo and wrote several books about snakes and reptiles describes an extremely harrowing experience that he had one evening at the zoo with a newly arrived bushmaster that he was trying to put into a pan and the snake house. The snake is just newly arrived from South America in a large canvas bag that was thoroughly tied shut with several knotted cords.

He describes this episode in the book “Snakes of the world.” After he had tied the cords that were holding the bag shut the step back from the bag as the bushmaster came crawling out. Ditmar’s describes what happened next, this huge snake who had a pink case you about it just kept coming out of the bag it seemed forever. As soon as he saw me he started coming for me. He was so fast that I was barely able to ward them on with the snake hook that I had to guide him into his pen. If I had not been equipped with a snake book I don't doubt that the snake would have bitten me. I finally steered them into his pen and since he didn't see me in there he finally went into the pen.

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Comments (2)

Oh, creepy. I've never heard of a place being off-limits due to a snake population before. Hmm hmm hmm.

We used to have a 12-ft rock python. Snakes are neat, but I don't want any as a pet again.