Small-scaled burrowing asp Facts

Small-scaled burrowing asp Facts
Small-scaled burrowing asp is a reptile that belongs to the group of atractaspidid snakes. There are 19 species of burrowing asps that can be found in tropical and southern parts of Africa and Middle East. They inhabit savannas, grassy plains, desert-like habitats and bushy areas. Small-scaled burrowing asp is also known as mole viper because it looks like a viper that lives in the underground burrows (just like a mole). Number of small-scaled burrowing asp is large and stable in the wild. These snakes are not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Small-scaled burrowing asp Facts:
Small-scaled burrowing asp can reach 20 inches (rarely 3 feet) in length.
Small-scaled burrowing asp is brownish pink or black colored. Belly is lighter. Small-scaled burrowing asp is covered with small, smooth, shiny scales.
Body of a small-scaled burrowing asp becomes purple blue in color when the snake is ready to shed its skin.
Small-scaled burrowing asp has pointed head with small, round eyes. Body is cylindrically shaped, thin and ends with short tail.
Small-scaled burrowing asps have terminal spine (uncovered piece of spine), that can be seen at the end of a tail.
Small-scaled burrowing asp lives in underground burrows. It can be seen on the ground rarely, usually after heavy rains.
Small-scaled burrowing asp has very long, backward curved hollow fangs. Snake attacks the victim sideways and stabs it until death. This method is unusual because snake performs whole attack with closed mouth, using only one fang. Small-scaled burrowing asp practically opens its mouth for the first time when it needs to swallow the prey. Snake also uses long fangs to manipulate with dead prey.
Small-scaled burrowing asp developed unusual hunting strategy due to life in physically restricted area, where body movements are limited.
Small-scaled burrowing asps are also known as stiletto (type of a thin knife) snakes and side-stabbing snake.
Diet of small-scaled asp consists of burrowing rodents, reptiles, frogs, locusts and ants. Experiments with captive animals showed that small-scaled burrowing asp always kills all rodents in the cage (no matter how numerous they are), before it is ready to eat them. That way, snake probably eliminates potential threats (adult rodents can fight back).
Small-scaled burrowing asp produces strong, milky venom. It consists of a mixture of toxins and enzymes that efficiently kill snake's prey.
Venom of a small-scaled burrowing asp rarely kills humans (except children). It induces irritation, pain, swelling and numbness of a region near the wound.
Small-scaled burrowing asp uses sense of smell to find mating partner. Males are often monogamous, while females sometimes have more than one partner.
Female lays 2 to 11 eggs in the moist soil or abandoned termite mounds during the summer. Incubation period lasts 6 to 8 weeks.
Small-scaled burrowing asp can survive up to 23 years in the wild.

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