Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby viper goes back to school

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by: Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo


It's back to school these days, and even our baby eyelash palm pit viper is ready with school supplies. Here are seven tips for a successful school day, according to our pencil-loving snakeling.


1. Always bring your favorite pencil.
This baby eyelash palm pit viper, born August 23, weighs about 0.1 ounces (2.9 grams). We brought a pencil to the photo shoot to help show scale, and that pencil quickly became the property of this little snake.


2. Protect your pencil at all costs.
Eyelash palm pit vipers are ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to live young, instead of laying eggs. This snakeling is certainly a live wire!


3. Pay attention or you’ll get tangled in knots.
Handling a baby eyelash palm pit viper is dangerous. They are venomous; do not play with snakes and pencils. Our keeper, Alyssa, was holding the pencil with a special tool for handling venomous snakes.


4. Hang in there! 
Bothriechis schlegelii is found in Central and South America and is arboreal, which means it lives in trees.


5. Don’t be too shy. 
The eyelash palm pit viper is mostly nocturnal and hides out in trees, on the leaves of big plants, or in other vegetation just above the ground.


6. Need to get away with something? Bat those eyelashes.
The eyelash palm pit viper is named for the bristly scales above its eyes. It looks as if it has eyelashes over its eyes, but it is really more of a scaly hood.


7. Have a snack and take a nap when you get home. 
Our baby eyelash palm pit viper is fed small mice or fish and spends a lot of the day curled up on its favorite stick.

No pencil was harmed in the creation of this blog post. 
We did, however, never get it back.

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