8: WEST AFRICAN CARPET VIPER:
Also known as the ocellated carpet viper (Echis ocellatus), the West African carpet viper is common to the countries of West Africa. Amazingly for a snake with a moderately small range, it is (along with the puff adder) often cited as being accountable for the highest number of snakebite-related deaths and fatalities in Africa. The West African carpet viper is a small snake, with an average total length of approximately 20 inches/ 50 centimetres. They are typically yellowish brown in colour, with distinctive eye-like spots along the length of their bodies. These spots are designed to confuse potential predators. Like the boomslang, their venom is haemotoxic, causing spontaneous internal bleeding and the collapse of the circulatory system sometimes days after the bite has occurred. The West African carpet viper has a distinctive threat display, which involves rubbing its coils together to create a loud sizzling sound.