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A Surprising Strike

September 12, 2023

A Surprising Strike

- as seen by -

Eric Januszkiewicz Eric Januszkiewicz

The Gaboon viper (Bitis rhinoceros), with the longest fangs of any venomous snake, is an incredible example of predatory excellence. Having the ability to grow over six feet long, these heavy-bodied snakes seemingly disappear into their surroundings. Their coloration and patterning are mesmerizing to look at on their own, but when you see them in their natural setting, it is amazing just how well these details camouflage them.

Working in a lab in northern Colorado that houses a whole array of venomous snakes, I have had the opportunity to work with many different genera. “Gabby”, our resident Gaboon viper, is perhaps one of the most popular among folks who visit our facility. With a typically calm disposition, she is impressive to watch feed. Her stocky build generates an immense amount of power when she strikes at her prey. It is nearly impossible not to flinch when I am the one feeding her. Even though I’ll know a strike is coming, the speed and power of this creature never ceases to surprise me.

Occasionally, we will take the snakes out for educational purposes, and in this case, we got Gabby out for a little enrichment in our campus gardens.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

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