Snake attacks kill at least 60 in southern Iraq

Zoolopedia - Horned Desert ViperA sudden spate of snake attacks has citizens in Sayid Dkheel, a city in southern Iraq in a “dangerous” situation.

The snake seen on this short film is from the vipers family known as Horned Desert Viper, or in itsin its latin name Cerastes Cerastes. This snake lives all arround dune deserts from Morroco in th west, through all the Saharan desert, south in Sudan & Ethiopya & Somalia, Sinai, Israel Negev desert (in a very small dune area), and east to Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Yaman, Iraq & Qatar.

Max length: 90 cm.  The length is different in different areas, but the average is around 65-70 cm.

Habitat: Dunes & Dunes surroundings. They shall always prefer the sandy areas, but can be found also near by where the sand is mixed with rocks. Of course, they are desert snakes & prefer the dry zones on humid ones. They usually hide unde the sand & perfectly camouflaged.

Hunting: The Horned Desert Vipers cre actively searching for prey, And I personaly was following one 3 km in one night. They are Nocturnal on high summer season, but can be active on day time as well when the temprature is more moderate. On their night search they are looking for local desert rodents, but sometimes eat also lizards geckos & smalll birds. While I was following them, I could clearly notice how they actively seek inside rodents burrows, going in from one side, keeping on from the other side if empty & nothing is found. The one I followed longest distance was searching during one night inside 24 different rodents burrows.

Reproduction: The Horned Desert Viper femele lays about 6-24 eggs and the hatchlings hatch about 60 days later, about 13 cm length each. At this stage they eat mainly lizards & rodents babies.

Venom: The Horned Desert Viper, as all viper family is a venomous snake that its venom damages the blood system and the lymthatic system. First sympthoms are pain, hemorrages and swelling. Some people might also have dizzines nausea & vommiting. In severe cases a necrosis shall be developed in the bite area, hematuria & renal failure.

The Horned Desert Viper is considered to be the most deadly snake in the Sahara, though its poision is not the strongest.