|Mexican west coast rattlesnake,
All vipers have a pair of long hollow fangs which are used to inject venom from glands found in the back of the upper jaws. Almost all vipers have ridged scales, a well built body with a short tail, and, because of where the venom glands are found, a triangular-shaped head. Slit-shaped pupils that can open wide to cover most of the eye or close almost completely, which helps them to see in a wide range of light levels. Vipers are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep in the day and wake up at night and they ambush their prey.
Where they live
Viper snakes are found in Americas, Africa, Eurasia. In the Americas they live from southern Canada, through the United States, Mexico, Central America, and into South America. The only type of viper which lives in the United Kingdom are the adders.
|Subfamily||Taxon author||Genera||Species||Common name||Geographic range|
|Azemiopinae||Liem, Marx & Rabb, 1971||1||1||Fea's viper||Myanmar, southeastern Tibet across southern China (Fujien, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Kweichow, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang) to northern Vietnam.|
|Causinae||Cope, 1859||1||6||Night adders||Subsaharan Africa|
|Crotalinae||Oppel, 1811||18||151||Pit vipers||In the Old World from eastern Europe eastward through Asia to Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, peninsular India and Sri Lanka. In the New World from southern Canada southward through Mexico and Central America to southern South America.|
|Viperinae||Oppel, 1811||12||66||True or pitless vipers||Europe, Asia and Africa.|
Type genus = Vipera—Laurenti, 1768
Vipers are predators, meaning that they eat other animals, their main diet is eating birds (including bird eggs), amphibians, such as frogs and toads, and other small reptiles like lizards and other smaller snakes.
Images for kids
Viper Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.