The largest rattler, the eastern diamondback is the most dangerous snake in North America. Its potent venom attacks the blood cells of its victims. Its striking diamond patterned skin provides camouflage as it lies coiled in vegetation.
The Egyptian cobra is one of the most deadly snakes in Africa. Its venom is more toxic than most other familiar cobras, such as the Indian cobra, famed for its use in snake charming, and even the king cobra, the world’s largest venomous snake.
Emerald tree boas spend their entire lives away from the ground, gripping tree branches with their coils. The snake's bright leaf-green body has flashes of white running across its back that help it to blend in with the forest foliage.
A common pit viper, the fer-de-lance varies in color and pattern over its wide range. A sheath of membranous flesh covers its fangs, but when the snake bites the sheath is pushed back. The fer-de-lance feeds mainly on small mammals.
The Gaboon viper, sometimes known as the Gabon viper, is a forest species. Its pattern of purple and brown diamonds and zigzags provides excellent camouflage among the deep leaf litter of the African rainforest. It is found chiefly in the Congo Basin.
This species has one of the widest ranges of any North American snake. At one extreme, the common garter snake lives on the southern shores of Hudson Bay in eastern Canada and survives the long and icy sub-Arctic winters.
This crocodilian is the longest member of this feared family, but it is harmless to people. Its narrow snout is used to catch fish. The gharial is easily recognized by its long, slender snout, which is filled with interlocking razor-sharp teeth.
The large, robust gopher snake is found in a variety of habitats and is a good climber and burrower. Its head is small and somewhat pointed and, although the coloration varies in the many subspecies over its wide range.
This is believed to be the largest species of snake in the world, although it is difficult to gauge the length of gigantic snakes. The scientific name of these snakes, Eunectes, means "good swimmer" and reflects their aquatic lifestyle.
This beautiful bright green snake spends almost its entire life in the treetops. Most functions - from eating and drinking to mating and egg laying - are performed off the ground. The green coloration gives good camouflage against the leaves.