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Animals

Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

Check Out These Ssseriously Cool Blunt-Nosed Viper Facts

Blunt-nosed viper facts will captivate both parents and their kids

The blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is a snake whose venom is one of the deadliest in the world. It is considered an animal of major medical importance that stays calm and peaceful during the day and becomes highly active at night. The snake is found in the natural hilly habitats of Cyprus and North Africa among other places. You will find the maximum population of the snake in Middle East where conservation activities are being held.

They are also known as only Vipera lebetina among people. The snake is very dangerous and its venom spreads rapidly after it bites animals and humans leading to death soon. The snake hibernates from November to March inside caves and cracks of mountains slopes. After hibernation, on the onset of summer, the male snake comes out earlier than the females. The snake remains absolutely still and motionless as it waits for the arrival of its prey often close to water bodies. The water attracts animals in the hot summer as well as providing coolness to the snake itself. People have even reported spotting the vipers inside their swimming pools in the summer months of April and May. It often falls prey to birds of prey and other large snakes.

To find out more about other species of snake, do check out pit viper and gaboon viper.

Blunt-Nosed Viper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blunt-nosed viper?

The blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is a snake species highly venomous in nature.

What class of animal does a blunt-nosed viper belong to?

Like most other snake species, the blunt-nosed viper also belongs to the Reptilia class of animals.

How many blunt-nosed vipers are there in the world?

The exact range of the blunt-nosed viper in the world is not known but most of them occur in the countries of the Middle East.

Where does a blunt-nosed viper live?

The blunt-nosed viper is found in areas with very little vegetation and stony hill slopes. Rocky and dry mountains are favorable breeding sites for these venomous snakes. It is common for this snake to occupy grasslands and shrubs for hiding spots. You may find these species of snake in dry arid regions like deserts. Pistachio woodlands have also been known to be habitats of these vipers. It is not uncommon for the snake to come down to wetlands during the hot summer days of April and May.

What is a blunt-nosed viper's habitat?

An isolated population of the blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) lives in the southwest region of Jordan. The Middle East has the most number of these snake species inhabiting countries like Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The subspecies Macrovipera l. Lebetina is found only in Cyprus where it is the most venomous snake. If you look at west Pakistan and northwest India, these vipers largely inhabit the Kashmir region. The Caucasus Mountain range in Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia are breeding sites of these snakes. You can find these vipers in sporadic areas in North Africa. The blunt-nosed viper range extends to a large part of the global map.

Who do blunt-nosed vipers live with?

After a careful study conducted on the blunt-nosed viper, it can be mentioned that the snake stays by itself without any interference except during hibernation when they coil together in a group.

How long does a blunt-nosed viper live?

The maximum lifespan of the blunt-nosed viper that has been recorded is 13 years and three months which was held in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The blunt-nosed viper is an oviparous animal whose breeding season occurs in summer. The months of April through June typically constitute the breeding season of this snake species. The incubation period for the adult blunt-nosed viper stays in the range of 25-50 days after which the female gives birth to a large number of eggs. This size of the clutch is about 8-25 eggs but data from studies have shown that larger clutches can even consist of as much as 43 eggs. The newborn snakelets measure about 25-28 cm (9.8-11 in) in length.

What is their conservation status?

According to the data collected from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is a species of Least Concern with a decreasing population trend. Efforts are being made for more conservation practices of the snake due to its high value in medicine.

Blunt-Nosed Viper Fun Facts

What do blunt-nosed vipers look like?

The blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is a large venomous snake species where the males are smaller in comparison to the females. The snake has a short head that is wider and triangular than other snakes with divided supraoculars. About 10-11 supralabials are differentiated from the eye with the help of two to three rows consisting of small scales. It has 12-14 infralabials that are present at the midbody in 23-25 rows. The snake has 168-176 ventrals while it has about 42-49 subcaudals. The colors range from yellow-brown to gray-brown or khaki. Tiny spottings can be seen on the body of these snakes. It has a pinkish-brown tail going up to lengths of 5.3-5.6 in (13.5-14.3 cm) that tapers abruptly. About 40 cross bands of dark gray color can be observed in a median row.

It has no shield and no horn with very large fangs. The dorsal patterns are less distinct than the lateral spots. The scale pattern of a blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is made up of light-centered rosettes whose intensity of margination often merges into wavy bands. The female version of the species often has a gray underside. Semi-rectangular marks can be seen on the silvery back of the snake. The black spot on its head is a discernible identification mark. If you view the snake from the top, the snout appears blunt and rounded. This is the reason for its name, the blunt-nosed viper. You might spot a dark V-shape on its uniformly colored head. Zigzag patterns can be noticed on the body of the snake.

The population of these vipers in their natural habitats has to be taken up as parts of conservation practices.

How cute are they?

Snakes are generally not known for their cuteness but rather their venom and the blunt-nosed viper is no exception. The highly poisonous snake has no distinctive cuteness factor.

How do they communicate?

As seen in most other snakes, the blunt-nosed viper communicates with other members of the species with the help of pheromones. Physical combat and touching of the body are also used as communication strategies by these vipers.

How big is a blunt-nosed viper?

The blunt-nosed viper female grows longer than the male with the maximum length for each being 59.1 in (150 cm) and 43.3 in (110 cm) respectively. If we compare the size to a king cobra, the latter is about five times that of the blunt-nosed viper. The king cobra reaches about 212.6 in (540 cm) in length.

How fast can a blunt-nosed viper move?

There is really no information available about the speed of these snakes.

How much does a blunt-nosed viper weigh?

The weight of the blunt-nosed viper is about 95.24 oz (2700 g), this makes them significantly heavier than the European viper and the prairie rattlesnake.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for the male and female subspecies of the snakes.

What would you call a baby blunt-nosed viper?

A baby blunt-nosed viper is called a snakelet.

What do they eat?

From various research activities, scientists have found out that the blunt-nosed viper is especially fond of rodents and small mammals as prey animals. Mice and rats are among the most common prey of these vipers. Small birds like chicks and pipits have also been found to be preyed upon by the species. Even lizards are eaten. Records show that snakelets have even consumed insects for prey. 

Are they poisonous?

It is a highly venomous species of snake.

Would they make a good pet?

Though people have been known to keep snakes as pets, it is advised to avoid the blunt-nosed viper due to its highly poisonous nature. But they have been kept in captivity for research purposes by human beings.

Did you know...

The blunt-nosed viper is not endemic to any particular region of the world as it is found in many places.

Though one of the deadliest snakes in the world, only a handful of people have actually died from its bite.

Does Cyprus have poisonous snakes? 

The only poisonous snake you can find in Cyprus is the blunt-nosed viper where it is known as the Cypriot blunt-nosed viper or the Macrovipera l. lebetina.

Is the blunt-nosed viper deadly? 

It is one of the deadliest animals in existence with a high medicinal value. This is why human beings have been establishing contact with these snakes time and again despite their deadly nature. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our Aldabra giant tortoise facts and Olive Ridley sea turtle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cobra And Viper Coloring Pages.

The second image is by Eduard Solà.

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