Fer-de-Lance: the king of serpents

I’ve been pretty sick these past few days, meaning I’ve had ample time to explore Netflix and discover some nature/animal documentaries.

Side note: if you haven’t browsed through Netflix’s nature/animal documentaries, I highly recommend doing so. There’s quite a few to choose from, all of which are educational and extremely interesting.

I started watching a documentary about some of the most dangerous creatures that reside in Latin America. Each episode of the series analyzes roughly five different critters that occupy this region of the world, with the total number of animals featured in the show reaching 72 by the final episode.

There’s some pretty freaky creatures over there, folks.

One of the featured animals that seriously intrigued me is the fer-de-lance, or a Bothrops Asper. This snake is “is a highly venomous pit viper species the range of which extends from southern Mexico to northern South America. They are found in a wide range of lowland habitats, often near human habitations,” it’s Wikipedia page explains.

I hadn’t heard of this particular snake before, but it’s worth learning about. The fer-de-lance “is irritable and fast-moving … Its large size and habit of raising its head high off the ground can result in bites above the knee. It has also been observed to eject venom over a distance of at least 6 ft (1.8 m) in fine jets from the tips of its fangs,” Wikipedia explains.

As for how nasty its venom is?

“Bite symptoms include pain, oozing from the puncture wounds, local swelling that may increase for up to 36 hours, bruising that spreads from the bite site, blisters, numbness, mild fever, headache, bleeding from the nose and gums, hemoptysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, impaired consciousness and tenderness of the spleen. In untreated cases, local necrosis frequently occurs and may cause gangrene which often requires amputation. In 12 fatal cases, the cause of death was sepsis (5), intracranial hemorrhage (3), acute renal failure with hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis (2) and hemorrhagic shock (1),” the page states.

This snake is no joke, and it’s been regarded as one of the deadliest of its kind. If you’re ever in Latin America, keep your eyes peeled for these sneaky serpents and be sure to wear tall boots.

Image from https://images.app.goo.gl/tNiLcaNiAjYsVvH66


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