TRENT'S WALK IN THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE (Part Seven)
Is brought to you by "Grand Belizean Estates" the next place to call home.
This is Belize's most poisonous snake. You won't be seeing me pick up one of these babies. So enjoy this one from afar!
These snakes are noted for their defined triangle markings of black and brown. An adult Fer-de-lance can have as many as thirty triangles along its back. Their undercarriage is typically cream or light yellow as is the throat, and beneath the jaw.
In Belize, the Fer-de-lance is ubiquitous, which means that it is as much at home in your backyard as it is in an abandoned agouti burrow in the rain forest or a rotten log beside a stream. Unfortunately, it loves rats fattened on household garbage and is not in the least shy about going into a village in pursuit of its favorite dinner passion.
If you should by chance come upon one of these, it would be wise to walk away, as quickly and as quietly as you can. Avoid any possibilities of an intimate encounter with these bad boys.
Fer-de-lance snakes, usually do not go out of their way to pursue its prey, but instead liters about in the underbrush waiting for a likely victim - perhaps a bird or an opossum - happens to come within easy striking range. Then, from either a coiled or an extended position, it attacks, viciously and repeatedly, with its two front fangs.
Unlike their cold and calculating parents, young Fer-de-lance snakes can be hot-headed; armed with venom from the day they were born alive. One Fer-de-lance can have up to 75 babies, I about dropped a jaw when I learned this. To make matters worse, until they reach three feet in length - which is two feet more than they started out with - their yellow-tipped tails, and every tree becomes a jungle gym.
The Fer-de-lance (French) has an arrow shaped head and if you look this guy in the eye, you will see that he has what are called, vertical, elliptical pupils. Between his eyes he has nostrils, like facial pits which is a sensory organ - so sensitive to heat, that he can detect a one degree C. change in temperature. The Fer-de-lance has a large mouth with two hollow, retractable fangs which, in proportion to its size, are the largest of any snake's fangs around. As with most snakes, it uses its flickering tongue to smell.
So remember, the next time you want to take your "Walk in the Jungle", to be sure and wear boots or any good shoe that has toe, foot and ankle protection. If you do encounter a fer-de-lance, back away slowly and avoid any contact. If you are bitten, seek immediate medical attention.
Hi, my name is Trenton S. Turley. I've been living in Belize now for 11 years. Hope you enjoy reading my many blog posts. I write about things, that are passionate to me.
SNAKES OF BELIZE!
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