Fun Saw Scaled Viper Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Feb 13, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Interesting facts about Saw Scaled Viper.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Do you love learning about interesting vipers? Saw scaled vipers are a viper subspecies belonging to the family Viperidae and the genus Echis.

The scientific name for these vipers is Echis carinatus. The Echis carinatus is characterized by its hard, upward pointing keeled scales and its brown body that helps it camouflage against its surroundings, rendering it nearly invisible!

These vipers are endemic to Central Asia, specifically in India. They are also found in parts of the middle east and Sri Lanka.

The Echis carinatus is an aggressive species, and also very venomous. They possess a fatal venom, and if bitten, the mortality rate is high.

In fact, in the regions that these vipers occur, they cause the most number of deaths by their fatal bites than all the other snake species combined. Read further to dwell into the world of the Echis carinatus, and do check out our Pit Viper Facts and Green Tree Python Facts articles!

Saw Scaled Viper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a saw scaled viper?

The saw scaled viper (Echis carinatus) is a snake belonging to the viper species.

What class of animal does a saw scaled viper belong to?

The saw scaled viper is a venomous reptile belonging to the viper subspecies.

How many saw scaled vipers are there in the world?

The exact number of these vipers is not known. However, there are eight distinct species of the Echis carinatus spread across Asia, Africa, and Arabia.

Where does a saw scaled viper live?

The saw scaled viper (Echis carinatus) is found in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East, and Central Asia. They can be found across Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Arabia.

What is a saw scaled viper's habitat?

The saw scaled viper (Echis carinatus) is found in sandy areas or substrates with a lot of rocks and rocky areas. They are often found camouflaged against the sand or curled up under rocks.

Who do saw scaled vipers live with?

Like most vipers, the Echis carinatus is also a solitary species. However, during mating season, these vipers are very social.

How long does a saw scaled viper live?

This viper subspecies is a long lived snake species, which means that they have a very long lifespan. The maximum recorded lifespan of one of these snakes was 23.8 years.

How do they reproduce?

Saw scaled vipers are ovoviviparous in nature, which means that they give birth to their young following a pregnancy period in which the babies developed in eggs inside the mother. The breeding season takes place between April to August. These saw scaled vipers give birth to a litter that ranges from three to 23 snakelets.

What is their conservation status?

The Echis carinatus has been classified as of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Saw Scaled Viper Fun Facts

What do saw scaled vipers look like?

These snakes are small and stout, with dark brown or gray colored scales. They are known for their unique pear shaped head, thin tail, vertical slit pupils, and rows of serrated, keeled scales. They may also have many orange or dark brown spots on their bodies. The average length of these snakes ranges from 1-3 ft (0.3-0.9 m).

Egyptian Saw Scaled Viper

How cute are they?

These snakes are highly aggressive and venomous in nature with a very potent venom that has caused several deaths in their native regions. Hence, these snakes are not considered to be cute, but rather dangerous.

How do they communicate?

These snakes communicate by a combination of sound, taste, and smell. These snakes use their tongues to pick up chemical signatures in the air, which helps them pinpoint the location of their prey.

They also make sense of the vibrations caused by various sounds to detect prey. They also begin to move slowly and intentionally if alarmed, so that their scales rub together and produce a hissing sound to scare away predators.

How big is a saw scaled viper?

This species can grow anywhere in the range of 1-3 ft (0.3-0.9 m).

How fast can a saw scaled viper move?

Although the exact speed of this species is not known, these snakes have the ability to move very quickly with extreme precision. This allows them to strike their targets with speed and accuracy each time.

How much does a saw scaled viper weigh?

The exact weight of the Echis carinatus is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of this species (E Carinatus). They are simply referred to as a male or a female.

What would you call a baby saw scaled viper?

Baby snakes of this species (E Carinatus) are referred to as snakelets or juveniles.

What do they eat?

Saw scaled vipers are carnivorous and have an aggressive nature. Hence, they prey on lizards, scorpions, rodents, frogs, centipedes, and insects.

Are they poisonous?

Saw scaled vipers are very venomous and they have a very potent, toxic venom. The mortality rate for the victims of saw scaled vipers is very high, and most of them die before receiving adequate treatment. In fact, these snakes are considered to be the most lethal viper subspecies in the regions in which they live.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make good pets. This is because they have an extremely aggressive nature and they possess fatal venom. As a result, humans tend to stay away from this species.

Did you know...

This species contributes to the largest number of deaths by snake bites in their native regions. They have highly lethal venom that causes most victims to die before they reach a hospital. These vipers cause the most deaths because they often dwell in highly populated areas and are very hard to detect.

Saw scaled vipers are nocturnal in nature, which means that they are active during the night and lethargic during the day. They emerge at twilight to hunt for food, and they lounge about, under rocks and the sand during the day.

They can also be found in bushes and trees, and they often gather in hoards in bushed and trees when it's raining.

Saw scaled vipers are a sidewinding species, which means that they slither sideways instead of straight. This is because sidewinding has proven to be extremely effective and quick in sandy habitats.

It also allows them to remain cool in the hot desert, as their whole body is not in contact with the sand or the ground when they move this way.

Saw scaled viper bites

This species is considered to be one of the most lethal vipers in the world. This snake has the smallest body amongst the four main vipers, but is extremely venomous, with a bite that can kill you.

They inject an average of 12 mg of venom in one bite, and only 5 mg of this venom is enough to kill a human. Swelling and pain are the first symptoms after a bite, which may worsen to form blisters on the skin.

Blood hemorrhage and blood coagulation problems may also occur.

However, due to the existence of an anti venom, the mortality rate is around 20%. Other deadly vipers include the Russells viper, the gaboon viper, the horned viper and the puff adder.

They are known for their characteristic double coil pose, during which they twist their body to form an eight figure. This allows them to spring forward and bite their prey with speed and accuracy.

Why is it called a saw scaled viper?

Saw scaled vipers have a very unique pattern of scales on their body. These scales are keeled and they form rows along the sides.

In addition to this, these scales are upward rather than backward, like in other species. They also have the ability to coil their bodies into a taut S shape, which allows them to generate a hissing sound when they rub their scales together.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these vine snake facts and rat snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable viper coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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