August 24, 2011
Fer de lances are 'milked' in order to extract the venom to create anti-venom. This photo was taken in Amacayacu National Park in Colombia. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
If you're unfortunate enough to be bit by a venomous snake in South America, its most likely the fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox).
Found in both forests and agricultural areas, the fer-de-lance is often dubbed the most feared snake in South America. The snake hides in shadowy sheltered places waiting for prey to come close, making it an easy snake to mistakenly get close to. Not surprisingly fer-de-lances are responsible for most snake bites in Latin America. Growing up to six feet long (two meters), the fer de lance gives birth to live young who are dangerous from the day they are born.
However, fer de lances rarely cause death, because of a stable supply of anti-venom from 'milking' the snakes.
For more photos of venomous snakes.