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High and dry

Hog-nosed Pit Viper, Porthidium nasutum (c) Amanda Bamford

Hog-nosed Pit Viper, Porthidium nasuta (c) A Bamford

Pit vipers are a group of snakes that have evolved some amazing adaptations. They are highly camouflaged, lightning quick, and have heat sensing pits on their faces to detect the slightest change in temperature. Some species live on the ground and others are totally arboreal, having prehensile tails and living a life fully in the trees.

Here in Costa Rica their are several species of pit viper including ground and arboreal species. When on the Caribbean coast our group was lucky enough to come across 2 highly camouflaged specimens, one a Hog-nosed Pit Viper Porthidium nasuta, a small but highly venomous species, and the other was an Eyelash Viper. Although eyelash vipers can come in an array of different colours, this was well brownish-red.


Eyelash Viper, Bothriechis schlegelii (c) A Gray

Yesterday, as the water levels started to rise at La Selva biological research station, where we are now, due to seriously heavy rainfall, other species of snake which usually reside hidden in the rainforest started to make themselves present. Whilst the snakes here at La Selva are on high alert, those on the Caribbean remain high and dry!


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