Water moccasin Facts

Water moccasin Facts
Water moccasin is venomous snake that belongs to the group of pit vipers. There are three subspecies of water moccasin that can be found in southeastern parts of the USA. Water moccasin inhabits swamps, drainage ditches and areas near the ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. Draining of wetlands is the greatest threat for the survival of water moccasins in the wild. Despite accelerated habitat loss, water moccasins are numerous in most areas except in Indiana, where they are classified as endangered.
Interesting Water moccasin Facts:
Water moccasin can reach 2 to 4 feet in length. Males are larger than females.
Water moccasin can be olive-green, brown or black colored, depending on the habitat. Belly is white colored. Juveniles have light colored body covered with various stripes that are pale in the center and dark on the edges.
Water moccasin has broad, triangular head, large jaws, vertical (cat-like) pupils and strong, muscular body covered with keeled scales.
Water moccasin is also known as "cottonmouth" due to white lining of the mouth.
Water moccasin is semi-aquatic animal. It is equally well adapted to the life in the water and on the solid ground.
Water moccasin lays on the rocks, logs and branches near the water and basks in the sun during the day.
Water moccasin hunts during the night.
Water moccasin is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on fish, baby alligators, turtles, lizards, amphibians, birds and small mammals.
Water moccasin uses heat-sensing pits (organs designed for detection of warm-blooded creatures) to find its prey. Young snakes have yellow tail which resembles a worm. It attracts frogs and minnows - basic type of food of the young water moccasins.
Water moccasin coils the body and widely opens its white mouth to expose large fangs when it is threatened. It is not aggressive by nature, but it will not hesitate to attack all intruders that refuse to retreat. Water moccasin produces strong hemotoxic venom which destroys blood cells and induces massive internal bleeding. Bites can be very painful and they can end fatally. Luckily, antivenin is available in the majority of hospitals in the USA.
Natural enemies of water moccasins are king snakes, herons, eagles, owls, snapping turtles and largemouth bass.
Mating season of water moccasins takes place during the spring. Males often fight with each other to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate.
Females reproduce once every two or three years. They give birth to 10 to 20 (usually 12) live babies after gestation of 3 to 4 months.
Water moccasins do not show parental care. Babies are bright colored and able to fend for themselves from the moment of birth. Water moccasins reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.
Water moccasin can survive up to 24 years in the captivity.

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