Bush Vipers, commonly known as Atheris, are found commonly throughout tropical Sub Saharan Africa, excluding southern Africa with sporadic distribution due to their preference for primarily rainforest habitats. Due to deforestation, the Bush Viper populations are dwindling and its general reach and habitat are smaller than once believed. They are considered to be threatened, primarily due to deforestation. There are roughly 10 different species of bush viper within the genus, all of which come in a variety of colours, sometimes with different colours seen in the same species of viper. Bush vipers are relatively small in stature, with adults commonly not exceeding around 30-35 inches in length. They have unusually strong tails, which are used to support them when hanging from branches of trees to hunt. They are typically found in trees, however they have been known to be near or on the ground for hunting purposes as well. Their prey typically consists of small mammals, lizards, amphibians, other snakes and some birds. Prey is typically ambushed from the hanging position, bitten then swallowed once succumbed to the poison. The venom of the bush viper is not necessarily fatal if treated as the poisons are hemotoxic, lending themselves to cause blood clotting problems. They typically don’t bite humans, but if they do care should be taken to avoid too much blood loss. That being said however, the venom of the bush viper is considered to be the less toxic of many of the other African snakes.

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