Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The European Adder

The European adder has the widest range of any terrestrial snake species - it can be found throughout most of Western Europe to Far East Asia to north of the Arctic Circle! It can also live at higher altitudes than any other snake (2600 meters above sea level).

European Adders are the only venomous snake to inhabit Britain, but they are entirely absent from Ireland and the Channel Islands. The adder is a oviparous species, which means it gives birth to live young. Like bears, adders in the wild will hibernate for 5 to 7 months, emerging when the weather gets warmer and they can bask in the sun.

The diet of the adder mainly consists of small rodents, but they will also occasionally prey on nesting birds, lizards and frogs. One way the adder hunts is by attacking their prey and injecting them with venom, then immediately releasing them to avoid a counterattack. The prey then wonders off to die, and the adder uses its sense of smell to follow the animal's scent trail and eat the dead prey.

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