Sidewinder

One of the “Little 5” we saw close up was the:

Sidewinder Snake (Bitis Perinqueyi)

Chris stopped the car. Interesting tracks on a dune…

Tracks of the sidewinder, a snake that only lives in the Namib Desert and is one of the smallest adders in the world with a maximum length of 30 cm.

The tracks told us it ought to be here. But it is in the sand with only an eye or two above the surface. It has its eyes on top of the head for that purpose.

Yes, there it was!

The name sidewinder comes from its strange way to move – in a “sidewinding way”. This move has two advantages. It makes it possible to move along the loose sand of the dune and it helps it from having too much of the body in contact with the very hot sand.

There is a black tip on the end of the sidewinder’s tail. It is used when the snake is buried in the sand and puts up that tip to attract a lizard.

The snake might be small but it is very fast and it is poisonous. If you are bitten there are good news and bad news, according to Chris. The good news are that you will not die. The bad news are that you wish you were dead…

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2 Responses to Sidewinder

  1. Pingback: Life in the desert | Namibia

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