One of the most poisonous groups of snakes are
the pit-vipers. The pit-vipers have a special sense organ: small hollows (or "pits") located below their nostrils. These pits are sensitive to
heat, and snakes use them to help locate warm-blooded prey. Not limited to the tropics, pit-vipers include the rattlesnakes of North
American dry coniferous forests.
|Although pit-vipers are highly venomous, some animals have evolved a resistance to their venom. The common Virginia opossum actually feeds on rattlesnakes, and exhibits only temporary symptoms after receiving sixty times the amount of venom that it takes to kill comparably sized mammals. An animal with a similar adaptation is the common domestic house cat, which is relatively resistant to cobra venom!|
[tropical forests] [coniferous forests] [mammals]
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