Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Gaboon viper is a terrestrial snake found in the rain forests of equatorial Africa. An ambush predator, it spends most of its life camouflaged and motionless in the the leaf litter. The species is actually surprisingly docile in nature, but can strike with lightening speed in any direction.
One of the three giant vipers of Africa, this thick-bodied reptile can grow to over 2 meters in length and weigh over 10 kg. It's also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest fangs of any venomous snake: up to 50 mm in large specimens. Its head can measure nearly 15 cm across. Although it does not have a particularly toxic venom compared to some other notorious species, it more than makes up for this with volume: up to 1000 mg of dried venom has been extracted -- 40% more than the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) has been known to produce. The venom is haemotoxic .
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