The Boomslang is an extremely dangerous, venomous snake species found in sub-Saharan Africa in the central and southern regions of the continent.
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The Boomslang is a large snake with a distinct head, and very large eyes with round pupils. Colouration is very variable. They may be leaf-green, bright green or black with dark grey, black-edged belly scales, or brick-red to rust-red, with an orange-pink belly.
Boomslangs spend most of their time chilling out in trees in a variety of environments, from coastal thickets to savannahs. These snakes exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning that the males and females display obvious morphological differences. The females are typically brown, whereas the males can display a variety of bright colors, from greens and yellows to pink-ish reds. A characteristic feature of these snakes is their strikingly large eyes that take up a large proportion of their heads. Youngsters are particularly beautiful because their eyes are an iridescent green, but don’t let these puppy dog eyes fool you. This snake will mess you up.
Boomslangs are rear-fanged, meaning that they’re equipped with large teeth at the back of their mouths. Consequently, to inject their prey with venom, the snakes have to open their mouths very wide, around 170 degrees.
What this snake’s venom does to you would not be out of place in a horror movie. It’s hemotoxic, meaning that it destroys red blood cells, disrupts the clotting process and causes tissue and organ degeneration. What this unfortunately means is that massive hemorrhage ensues, causing the victim to bleed from the gums, nose and other orifices. Sometimes, the body of the victim will turn blue because of the widespread internal bleeding. Adding insult to injury, the process can be extremely slow, sometimes taking 5 days for the victim to die of internal bleeding. Thankfully, there is an antivenom, so if you’re bitten by one of these guys- don’t hang about.