One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large, thick-bodied venomous African snake with a pair of hornlike scales on the snout, having a body richly patterned with brown, purple, and cream.
Bitis gabonica, family Viperidae
- ‘They included two Gaboon vipers, snakes that inhabit the rainforest floor in the equatorial belt of tropical Africa, and can swallow prey as large as a rabbit, whole.’
- ‘The venomous subjects may include a few species of copperhead, rattlesnake, cottonmouth; Indian cobras; Gaboon vipers; rhinoceros vipers; puff adders; tree vipers; and perhaps a few extras.’
- ‘For example, one of the wall panels in the exhibition shows a Gaboon viper that has captured a small antelope.’
- ‘Another animal sculpture in the exhibition portrays a coiled Gaboon viper threatening a growling dog; a spotted civet or genet looks on.’
- ‘I did once meet a nurse in the Gold Coast who had lived after a bite from a Gaboon viper, but it took her a long time to recover from the poison injected into her bloodstream, and for many months she didn't really care if she lived or died.’
Early 20th century: named after Gaboon (now Gabon).
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