The gaboon viper's color is a combination of brown and purple arranged in diamonds and stripes along its back, which provides camouflage. This pattern gives excellent coverage to blend into the leaves, making them very difficult to see on the ground.
Gaboon vipers are passive hunters, waiting concealed and camouflaged to strike at whatever small creatures pass within range. The Gaboon viper can control whether, and how much, venom is injected, so the result of a strike can range from no effect to quick death.
The Gaboon viper is one of the most distinctive looking snakes in the world. This beautiful animal has the longest fangs of any snake in the world at up to 2 inches long, and also has the highest venom yield of any of the world's snakes.
The Gaboon viper is one of the world's largest and heaviest vipers. It also has the longest retractable fangs of any venomous snake: up to 2 inches long.
Central, East and West Africa
Rainforests, wet and humid areas
4 feet long | 20 pounds
Rodents, mongoose, hares, monkeys
Coloration providing camouflage, potentially venomous bites
Ovoviviparous; 50–60 young per litter
20 years on avg.