One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A venomous nocturnal snake with an upright projection over each eye, native to the sandy deserts of North Africa and Arabia. It moves in the same way as the sidewinder.
Cerastes cerastes, family Viperidae
- ‘The name horned viper comes from the small scale-covered horns just above the eyes of this particular snake.’
- ‘The horned viper can grow to lengths of up to 2 ft.’
- ‘When it slithers, the horned viper slides sideways across the sand in what is known as sidewinding.’
- ‘A horned viper moves across the sand with a sideways wiggle so only a small amount of its body comes in contact with the hot surface sand.’
- ‘Two men bitten while handling captive Saharan horned vipers in Europe developed extensive local swelling and life-threatening systemic envenoming.’
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