pit viper

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1. any snake of the viperid and crotalid families (the true vipers and the pit vipers).
2. a term sometimes used to refer to any venomous snake.
Old World viper true viper.
pit viper any of a family of venomous snakes found in North America including the many types of rattlesnakes (genera Crotalus and Sistrurus), as well as the copperheads and water moccasins (both of genus Agkistrodon).
Russell's viper Vipera russellii, a true viper of Southeast Asia whose venom (Russell's viper venom) is used in blood tests.
true viper any of a large family of venomous snakes found in Africa, parts of Europe, Asia, and adjacent islands, but not in the Americas or Australia; it includes cobras and adders, among others. Called also Old World viper, viperid, and viperine.

pit viper

Any of various venomous snakes of the subfamily Crotalinae, such as the copperhead, rattlesnake, or fer-de-lance, characterized by a small sensory pit below each eye.

pit viper

Etymology: AS, pytt + L, vipera, snake
any one of a family of venomous snakes found in the Western Hemisphere and Asia, characterized by a heat-sensitive pit between the eye and nostril on each side of the head and hollow perforated fangs that are usually folded back in the roof of the mouth. With the exception of coral snakes, all indigenous poisonous snakes in the United States are pit vipers. See also copperhead, cottonmouth, rattlesnake.
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Pit viper


1. a hollow fovea or indentation.
2. a pockmark.
3. to indent, or to become and remain for a few minutes indented, by pressure.
4. seed of a fruit, e.g. cherry. Strictly refers to the hard woody coating which surrounds the seed.

anal pit
the proctodeum of the embryo.
auditory pit
a distinct depression in each auditory placode, marking the beginning of the embryonic development of the internal ear.
pit bull
a term used in describing various types of dogs used in past times for fighting in pits. Now, usually refers to the specific breed, american pit bull terrier.
lens pit
a pitlike depression in the fetal head where the lens develops.
nasal pit
a depression appearing in the olfactory placodes in the early stages of development of the nose. Called also olfactory pit.
olfactory pit
see nasal pit (above).
otic pit
early stage in the development of the embryonic inner ear.
pit pony
pony used in a mine to haul mined rock. Breed varies as long as it is small, e.g. Shetland pony.
pit of stomach
the epigastric fossa or epigastric region.
pit viper
see viper.
References in periodicals archive ?
It head-butts toxins 25 times as powerful as typical pit viper venom, a phenomenon luckily not discovered by handling.
At the core, Pit Vipers are adjustable, military designed sunglasses.
16) As a practical matter, prevention of the actual bite would be very challenging in most dogs because of their curious disposition and the nature of pit vipers.
Venoms of true vipers (Viperinae) and of pit vipers (Crotalinae) contain hemotoxins, e.
The western cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma, is an iteroparous pit viper that inhabits a wide variety of habitats (Gloyd and Conant, 1990; Werler and Dixon, 2000).
2) None of our patients had the severe tissue damage seen with pit viper bites, but not seen in previous coral snake studies.
These signals are likely to render a calling frog conspicuous to visually-oriented predators, though only two species of pit vipers and a colubrid snake species are recorded as preying on these frogs (Hartmann et al.
Luckily, the copperhead is the least dangerous of the pit vipers, and many patients bitten by them may not need antivenin therapy.
Topics will include native reptiles and amphibians, pythons and boas, colubrid snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises, crocodiles and alligators, rattlesnakes and pit vipers, venomous animals, care of captive reptiles and amphibians, reptile diseases in captivity, conservation, and reptiles of other countries.
For example, pit vipers possess incredible heat-detecting capabilities that are much more sensitive than anything we can do without the need for cryogenic cooling.
The ground was wet with sticky mud, while overhead long vines hung struggling to touch the Earthen floor where pit vipers thrived in the night.