Thursday, June 17, 2010
Creature Feature: Asian Vine Snakes (Ahaetulla)
Sorry for the late post; Wisconsin Dells is not known for its plentiful Wi-Fi. It is, however, known for its amazing water parks and overpriced souvenirs.
Rushed vacation plans aside, let's have a quick look at the genus Ahaetulla. This genus is one of three dubbed "vine snakes," thus the additional bit of sciencey language in the title. They all look, well, botanical, but the snakes of Ahaetulla have stolen my attention as of late.
Ahaetulla covers a group of rear-fanged venomous colubrids native to many parts of Asia. They are commonly called 'whip snakes' or 'vine snakes' due to their arboreal natures and slender bodies. Their poison is not deadly to humans, and the location of their fangs in the back of their mouths makes for inefficient delivery.
What interested me about them was not their camouflage nor their venomous potential. Call it a subtlety from working with reptiles, but these guys have particularly interesting faces. Whip snakes are among the few reptiles blessed with binocular vision...
...via an almost mammalian, triangular face and keyhole-shaped pupils. Seriously, just look at the face on this snake! Goats have their work cut out for them; the vine snake could pull Baphomet off just as well, and would make a nice dragon base. Hey, if no one else has done it, I will just have to do it myself.