Cottonmouth Water Moccasin
Cottonmouth Water Moccasin is a viper, and one of the most deadly that roam North America. Extremely dangerous to people and pets, they are aggressive and venomous.
The adult water moccasin can be anywhere from 20 inches to as much as 7 feet long.
When they swim a great deal of their body rests above the water, gliding across it.
Dark colored and thick bodied, they also have the unique vertical pupils, while most common water snakes have round pupils.
Adult cotton mouth snakes are from 20 to 70 inches long and are relatively broad compared with other venomous snakes.
Unlike most snakes when they are frightened the cottonmouth will usually stand its ground and open its mouth displaying a completely white interior to warn predators to stay away.
That behavior is some times seen as aggressive, but if the snakes are left alone they will usually leave.
Cotton mouth is semi-aquatic, which means that most of their lives are spent near permanent water sources, and they swim a great deal of the time.
Cotton mouth will eat a wide variety of foods, which includes mammals, lizards, birds, turtles, alligators and sometimes even other snakes.
The victim is bitten and the venom does its job nearly instantly. Should it not kill the victim, the snake will track it and using the pits on the side of its nose, which function like heat sensors, it will track the prey until it finds it.
Cotton mouth gives live birth, which isn’t to say they do not have eggs. The eggs are carried inside their bodies and then laid later on.
From 6-12 eggs, leathery feeling will be laid. Usually only one of three survives to adulthood.
Find out more about the Cottonmouth Water Moccasin over at Wikipedia »
Can water moccasins live on land and water? I have heard that they only live in water, is that true?
I don’t think I’ve seen so much misinformation or outright falsehoods on the Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) in one article!
(1) “Cottonmouth Water Moccasin is a viper, and one of the most deadly that roam North America.” WRONG! The Cottonmouth is a “Pit” Viper (New World), NOT a true (Old World) Viper, and…
(2) It isn’t generally considered “deadly” at all, much less “one of THE most deadly!” I’ve yet to confirm a death attributed to this snake and I’ve studied them for fifty years and taught snakebite treatment for 35.
(3) “The adult water moccasin can be anywhere from 20 inches to as much as 7 feet long.” WRONG AGAIN! Cottonmouths are about 5-6 inches at borth and adults average about 3-4 ft. (36″-48″). The largest of the thousands I’ve captured or seen in my life was only 5’4″ (64 inches), although I believe the established record is about 74 inches (6’2″), not 7 ft.
(4) “They also have the unique vertical pupils, while most common water snakes have round pupils.” “Most?” ALL non-venomous water snake species have round pupils!
(5) “Cotton mouth gives live birth, which isn’t to say they do not have eggs. The eggs are carried inside their bodies and then laid later on. From 6-12 eggs, leathery feeling will be laid.” WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Cottonmouths are “Viviporous,” meaning they give LIVE BIRTH! They DO NOT “have eggs,” and they DO NOT “carry the (eggs) inside their bodies and (lay) them later on!” They bear LIVE young like all other pit vipers!
(6) “Usually only one of three survives to adulthood.” Wrong. The fact is only approximately one out of one-hundred (1%) of all juvenile snakes reaches adulthood, NOT the stated “one of three” (33%).
My God, if you’re going to put information on the net, at least make sure it is correct! Someone needs to go back to biology class!!!