Bushmaster

Bushmaster
Lachesis muta

Quick Facts

Bushmaster

Found: Northern South America
Size:  9 to 12 feet
Diet:  Rodents
Status:  Unknown in Wild
Life Span:  Up to 15 years

Translated, the genus and species of the bushmaster snake is "silent fate".  These snakes are the longest pit viper in the Western Hemisphere reaching lengths of 9-12 feet.  The fearsome reputation of the bushmaster is often overstated as these snakes are both rare and shy and bites are uncommon.  However, their huge size allows them to deliver mass amounts of venom into their prey or to those who disturb them.  The average yield of venom from a bushmaster is 411 mg, compared to just 52 mg from a copperhead!  Once bitten many victims do not live long enough to reach medical care.  A bushmaster can coil for several days even for weeks at one site. It waits in the coil to ambush prey along routes of travel or trails along the ground. This snake can survive by taking fewer than 10 large meals per year. It is the only pit viper in the world to lay eggs (instead of bearing live young), and female snakes remain with the eggs for a time before hatching.

Bushmaster

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