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TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Horned adder (Bitis caudalis) puffing and using its tongue to smell. Snakes use their tongues for collecting chemicals from the air or ground. The tongue does not have receptors to taste or smell. Instead, these receptors are in the vomeronasal, or Jacobson's Organ, which is in the roof of the mouth.This venomous viper is found in deserts with sparse vegetation, and in semi-arid scrubland in south-western Africa. Its distinguishing feature is the horn-like scale over each eye, which gives rise to its common name. It is a sit-and wait predator and can burrow into loose sand to ambush its prey of small reptiles and rodents. The venom of this snake is mildly cytotoxic, causing swelling and much pain, accompanied by shock and local necrosis. Filmed in the Dorob national park in the Namib Desert, Namibia.
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