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Information about CRSnakes

Published on January 15, 2008

Author: Margherita


Slide1:  Costa Rican Snakes Aldo and Raquel Slide2:  Snakes are unique creatures in that their bodies allow them to get into the cracks and crevices of the world that most other creatures cannot. Lacking rigid skeletons and extremities, snakes can contort their bodies in order to get into tiny holes, wrap around tree branches and slither over otherwise unmanageable rocks. Slide3:  Three-year-old Cambodian boy Oeun Sambat hugs his best friend, a four meter long female python in the village of Sit Tbow, May 18, 2003. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea Slide4:  In Costa Rica, snakes make up almost half of all the reptile species in the country. There are 133 to 136 species of snakes, and only 17 are known to be venomous. These 17 species of venomous snakes are the only ones that are known to be clinically important throughout the Costa Rica region. Slide5:  The two different families of venomous snakes found in Costa Rica region are the coral snake family (Elapidae), and the pit-viper family (Crotalidae) The two different families Slide6:  Allen’s coral snake (Micrurus alleni), Central American coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus), Bicolored coral snake (Micrurus multifasciatus), Clark’s coral snake (Micrurus clarki). Costa Rica’s Four Coral Snakes Brave or idiot? Holding a Central American coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus) Slide7:  These snakes have small heads and blunt tails which allow them to maneuver easily around the leaf litter and rocky regions. The Coral’s venom is stimulated by its victim’s blood, causing the venom to travel through the neuro-system attacking the brain. Watch your step: Coral Crossing Slide8:  The two most abundant species are the eyelash palm-pit viper (Bothriechis shclegelii), and the Fer de lance (Bothrops asper). Pit-viper family (Crotalidae) Another fairly common species include the hognosed pitviper, which we spotted while hiking through Selva Verde. Slide9:  Fer-de-Lance The fer-de-lance is one of the world’s most venomous snakes and we saw a juvenile on our night hike at Selva Verde Slide10:  The fer-de-lanceis also known as the lancehead, and terciopelo Spanish for "velvet" by Costa Ricans and can reach lengths up to 3 meters. Its body color varies, with olive green, gray, tan, brown or rust blotches which are usually separated by light edging. It can be found in overgrown fields and river courses in drier lowland regions, as well as mountainous, deciduous wet forests. It is often found near human cultivation as well. It is generally a nocturnal snake, however if stepped on or encountered during the day, they are quick to strike. The Velvet snake Slide11:  As juveniles, the fer-de-lance is an arboreal snake that feed on lizards and frogs, which they attract with a yellow-tipped tail. As adults they come down and rest in loose leave litter on the forest floor. Unlike other vipers, the fer-de-lance will bite with little provocation. The snake's powerful venom dissolves nerve tissue and destroys blood cells and artery walls; those fortunate enough to survive may suffer paralysis or tissue damage so massive as to require amputation of the bitten limb. Amputation of the bitten limb Slide12:  Make way for the Kingsnake This non venomous (Lampropeltis Triangulum) snake is not very common. They are on the brink of extinction. Slide13:  The kingsnake eats mammals, birds, reptiles and also eats other snakes. including coral snake. Many are surprised to learn that snakes feed off of other snakes, in particular, the non venomous snakes eating venomous snakes. Another example of this is the Mussurana or Clelia clelia, this non venomous snake is a good biological control agent. The Mussurana eats the fer-de-lance, as well as other snakes except the coral, because their venom is too Strong for it to handle. The Mussurana juvenile are born with the colors of the coral; that way they are not eaten. Snake Eating Snake Slide14:  Boas are extremely important ecologically . Their life span is 25 to 30 years. B O A They grow to 4.5 meters, and are the largest of the non venomous snake. They kill by strangulation and their favorite foods include; chickens, rabbits, rats, birds and even dogs. They are semi-arboretums living in trees and on the ground. They give birth to live offspring:  Boas are killed and trapped for the ever increasing Pet Trade and are becoming rare. They grow to 4.5 meters, and are the largest of the non venomous snake. They kill by strangulation and their favorite foods include; chickens, rabbits, rats, birds and even dogs. They are semi-arboretums living in trees and on the ground. They give birth to live offspring Slide16:  Pet Trade Slide17:  The drawbacks to the Pet Trade The buying and selling of exotic pets is a huge business. However, there are drawbacks to the Pet Trade. Among these drawbacks are the illegal HUNTING practices used to obtain some species and the damage done to ecosystems when animals are removed from an area. Slide18:  Endangered species are declining in record numbers as their habitat is destroyed and they are commercially exploited. To combat excessive exploitation, many countries have joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The purchasing power of consumers and the growing sophistication of modern commercial transportation routes make endangered wildlife products easily available. As an international traveler, help save species by avoiding souvenirs made from endangered animals and plants. At the Heart of the Issue: Protecting Endangered Wildlife Slide19:  The Un-entertained Species The importation and exportation of certain reptile skins is a very extensive, yet illicit industry :  Python skin blazer $1,200 Snake skin dress $1,000 The importation and exportation of certain reptile skins is a very extensive, yet illicit industry Slide21:  The illegal skins trade in Mexico represents millions of dollars annually on the black market. The problem with reptile skins is one that is quickly becoming an epidemic. Reptiles are traded both dead and alive. The live creatures are usually killed, then utilized as medicine or eaten as a delicacy in regions such as Eastern Asia. The reptile skins are valuable as purses, shoes, and other leather products in the United States or other Western nations. Snake skin wallet $300 Rattlesnake belt $600 Snake skin boots $400 Slide22:  Snake in its natural environment Priceless Slide23:  What do you think can be done to educate people about snakes? Ethics Slide24:  How can we ensure that snakes will not be used for commerce? Slide25:  Why do you think people have such an appetite for live wild animals and for the skin and meat of dead ones? Slide26:  Works cited The Humane Society The Fish and Wildlife Service. Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica by Jay M. Savage. The University of Chicago Press , 2002 Costa Rica Field Guide to Reptiles.Rrainforest Publications 1999

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