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A pit viper

Vipers are a family of snake (the Viperidae) found throughout the world except in Australia and Madagascar. Their bite is venomous, which they use to catch small animals, such as lizards, small mammals and birds, that constitute their diet. Viper venom can be fatal to humans if treatment is not sought. Like many snakes, vipers have special organs that allow them to sense infrared.[1]

The Viperidae family is divided into four subfamilies:

  • Causinae Cope, 1859 (night adders) living in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Viperinae Oppel, 1811 (true or pitless vipers) living in Europe, Asia and Africa.