Object of the Month: Puff Adder

Picture of a Puff Adder. This specimen can be found in the World Wildlife Gallery at Kendal Museum.

For this Object of the Month, we have chosen the Puff Adder!

Puff Adders can be found in Africa, as well as the southern Arabian Peninsula (countries like Yemen and Oman).

Their Latin name is ‘Bitis arietans’. Bitis is the name of the genus of vipers, and arietans means ‘striking violently’. Snakes that belong to the Bitis genus are known for their displays of inflating and deflating their bodies while hissing and puffing loudly.

Adults are usually about a metre long, with some growing up to nearly two metres! They can weigh more than six kilograms.

Puff Adders tend to have large litters of offspring. The average size is between fifty and sixty, some can give birth to as many as eighty! Newborns are between twelve and seventeen centimetres long. They are viviparous, meaning that rather than laying eggs like you might expect of reptiles, they give birth to live baby snakes.

This sample is currently located at Kendal Museum in the World Wildlife Gallery.

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