The Puff Adder, also known as the African Puff Adder or common adder is a species of viper that is found extensively throughout both Saharan and Sub Saharan Africa. Its territory range reaches from The Gambia and Ivory Coast and neighbouring nations all the way across the continent through the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, throughout the border regions of Democratic Republic of Congo and from there it’s known throughout basically all of the countries in the rest of the continent with the exception of the Republic of Congo and Gabon and only a small pocket of southern Morocco. It is also found along the coastal regions of the Arabian peninsula, but not very far inland. It has been found as far away as Oman. The colour of the snake varies depending on its geographic location. The snake prefers rocky grasslands and is known to avoid tropical rain forest areas as well as avoids true coastal regions. It also does not like true deserts. The size of the snake varies depending on where its located. Those found in the Arabian peninsula tend to be of smaller stature than those in Africa. The average size overall is roughly one metre in length, however specimens of double this have been reported. Generally the males are slightly larger than the females. The Puff Adder is typically a nocturnal species, known to prefer dense coverage in bushes or even trees. Its prey includes small mammals, birds and reptiles which is attacks in ambush style. If provoked it will tend to back away and tightly coil itself, striking with speed and ferocity. They are known to be sluggish, and so take on a protective camouflage preference, hiding out instead of moving around too much. That being said, the species can move with surprising quickness when it needs to. The fangs of the puff adder are extremely long and so the prey victims of bites often die from the trauma related to the bite alone. The venom is extremely toxic and as a result of both the wide spread geographically of the species along with its tendency to attack nearly unprovoked results in more deaths than any other African snake. It’s preference for sitting near footpaths along with its size also contribute to the high occurrence of bite rates. The reproduction of the snakes begin when the females release a pheromone to attract males, which then engage each other in combative neck dancing. Some litters of young can be as many as 50-60, while upwards of 80 have been reported. The young are typically around 12-17cm in length. Despite this particular Adder being of a highly toxic and venomous nature, mortality rates are only around 50%. If left untreated the symptoms of the bite can become highly unpleasant, including necrosis of the tissue surrounding the bite, as well as spreading of the necrotic tissues.
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