Bushmaster Facts

Bushmaster Facts
Bushmaster is venomous snake that belongs to the family of vipers. There are three species of bushmaster that can be found in the South and Central America. Bushmaster inhabits lowland rainforests and wet mountainous forests. It is rarely encountered in the wild due to secretive nature and life in remote and hardly accessible areas. Deforestation and habitat destruction are the major threats for the survival of this snake. Bushmaster is listed as vulnerable, which means that it can become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Bushmaster Facts:
Bushmaster can reach 6 to 8 feet in length (rarely up to 12 feet) and 6.6 to 11 pounds of weight. Males are larger than females.
Bushmaster has reddish-brown or pinkish grey body covered with X-shaped or diamond-like dark markings on the back. Belly is usually white colored. Body of bushmaster is covered with heavily keeled scales.
Bushmaster is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
Bushmaster is equipped with infrared pits located between the eyes and nostrils. These organs are used for detection of warm-blooded animals during the night.
Bushmaster is an ambush predator. It silently waits until the prey of appropriate size finally appears.
Despite its large size, bushmaster has the smallest swallowing capacity (compared to other snakes) in the world. Its diet is based mostly on small mammals (such as rodents) and birds.
Bushmaster is very dangerous snake. It produces large quantities of strong venom and uses long fangs to deliver it. Bite of bushmaster usually ends up fatally for humans.
Bushmaster produces vibrating sound using the light-colored, spine-like scales at the end of its tail when it is threatened.
Young bushmasters are targeted by raptors and large snakes. The only predators of adult bushmasters are humans.
Scientific name of the snake "Lachesia muta" means "silent fate". Name refers to the rattle-like sound which it occasionally produces. Bushmaster is also known as "mute rattlesnake" thanks to this sound.
Bushmaster is solitary except during the mating season. Females release odor which attracts males when they become ready to mate. Male rubs female's head, flicks his tongue over her body and moves his upside-down oriented body in a saw-like manner over the female's back. This initiates copulation which can last up to 5 hours.
Female lays 8 to 12 whitish eggs in the abandoned burrow in the ground. She curls her body around eggs and remains on top of them until they hatch 76 to 79 days later.
Newly born bushmasters are 20 inches long and pale colored. Their tails end with yellow or orange tips which attract small insectivorous mammals - their first food.
Young bushmasters attain adult coloration at the age of 1 to 2 years and reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 years.
Bushmaster can survive 12 to 18 (rarely up to 24) years in the captivity.

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