lørdag 12. april 2014

MORE AFRICAN SNAKES


An angry African Rock Python is really no joke !! This one was estimated 4,5 m & 50 kg !!
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/1000, ISO 1400 

På mitt slange-eventyr i Sør Afrika & Swaziland i mars hadde min venn & guide Mike Perry med seg et betydelig kvantum motgift. De livreddende ampullene ble omsorgsfullt lagt i kjøleskap hver natt (når dette var mulig) og fulgte med ut i felten i kjølebag hver eneste dag. Motgift er i likhet med selve slangegiften ganske "kraftig kost" for den stakkars kroppen det injiseres i, og noen personer vil være,- eller vil ev. lett utvikle allergi mot motgift, og kan dermed like gjerne dø av motgiften som av selve slangebittet. Mike Perry som driver African Snakes & Venom i Johannesburg, lever av å produsere slangegift som råstoff til produksjon av motgift. Han er tilsammen blitt bitt av cobra 3ganger (!!), og har… dessverre for ham, utviklet allergi mot motgift. Siste gang han ble bitt var han like nær ved å dø av motgiften som av selve bittet. Amputasjon av fingre var nødvendig.

Vet du egentlig hvordan motgift fremstilles ?? Det visste ikke jeg før jeg oppdaterte meg på følgende : 

Motgift ble for første gang fremstilt i 1886 og metoden har i prinsippet siden vært uendret. Små kvantum slangegift injiseres i et stort pattedyr, primært hest. Over tid utvikler hesten gradvis immunitet mot giften og dosene i injiseringene økes. Når ønsket imunitet er oppnådd hos hesten blir blod regelmessig tappet og danner basis for fremstilling av motgift ved at serum separeres fra de røde blodlegmene. Personer som blir bitt av en "værsting", feks. en svart mamba, vil trenge injisert STORE mengder motgift, helt opp i 10 ampuller a 20 ml = 200 ml, ... omtrent like mye som en liten flaske cola !

Velbekomme !! 

English : Yes, of course, I do understand that snakes is a pretty narrow issue, and that after having documented cobras & black mambas, the rest may be "too much" for many people. Even though I have a huge material, this will be my last snake-blog from South Africa this time. 

I`m not trying to document as many species as possible, I`m just trying to make … 
some good photography !!  

Hope you`re still out there …… and that you like what you see.


You will find the green mamba in the humid coastal forests  at the south-eastern coast. Really hard to find !! …. and one of my dreams. Known to be just as poisonous as the black one, but more "relaxed". 
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/400, ISO 1600  


Green mamba
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/ 500, ISO 1100


A legend in the coastal bush : the gaboon adder !! The fact that this is a big snake, extremely poisonous, has huge fangs (up to 500 mm) and is capable of injecting lots go venom, makes it a very dangerous snake. 
Nikon D4, Nikkor 14-24 2,8, F/ 8,0, 1/320, ISO 2000, monopod & cable release 


Gaboon adder
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 1400


The boomslang is connected to forest habitats, it is a good climber and is often seen in trees. The female is grayish (this one) while the males often go greenish in color. Although the innocent "ET- look" the boomslang is extremely poisonous and bites will easily be fatal. 
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 2800   


Female boomslang
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 1400


Female boomslang
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 1400


To escape the boomslang will often drop itself from a tree to the ground to find it`s favorite hide.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0, f/8,0, 1/640, ISO 900


Boomslang fangs !! Normally poisonous snakes have two fangs, one on each side, but fangs are regularly shed and new ones grow out continuously. This one has two pairs of fangs. 
(the snake takes no harm of this treatment !!)
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0, micro, f/6,3, 1/1000, ISO 2200


The wine snake is a long, slender snake with patterns similar to branches and blends in completely in a tree or a bush !! Similar to the boomslang this snake is highly venomous and what makes it extremely dangerous is the fact that there is no anti venom available for this specimen !!!
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/640, ISO 2000   


The Angola green snake (previously known as Western green snake) is completely harmless, it can be lifted and will not bite.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro


All snakes shown up to here (pythons, green mamba, gaboon adder, boomslang, wine snake, forest cobra, Angola green snake etc) are all typical of the South African "lowveld", the thick coastal forests of the south east … with warm climate and high humidity.
Nikon Coolpix P7700


In the higher regions you will find the "high veld" with dryer climate and bigger amplitudes between day- and night temperatures. In the grassy, rocky landscape with scattered bush you will find puff adders, berg adders, Mozambique spitting cobras, rinkhals, shildnose snakes etc.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 14-24 2,8, f/6,3, 1/250, ISO 640


Puff adder is widespread in all Southern & eastern Africa and responsible for the highest number of recorded fatal bites.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/250, ISO 180


Puff adder
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0, f/6,3, 1/250, ISO 400


Berg adder, a smaller relative of the puff adder
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/320, ISO 1800


The brown house snake is widespread all over South Africa, more or less in all habitats and can often be found close to human settlements, hence the name.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/10,0, 1/320, ISO 1100


A brown house snake had attacked a common egg-eater which is even slightly bigger than the brown house snake. It is a constrictor and tries to start swallowing the egg-eater.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 2200



After serious attempts the brown house snake had to give up the bigger egg-eater.
Nikon D4, Nikkor 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 4000  


At forest bottom : the poisonous shield nose snake
Nikon D4, Nikor 200 4,0 micro, f/4,2, 1/500, ISO 1600


9 kommentarer:

  1. Nok en utsøkt bildeserie fra din reise i Sør-Afrika. Kan ikke si annet enn at jeg er imponert og facinert av bilder og tekst.
    mvh Esben Reiersen

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  2. Helt rått. Rekker godt med Huggorm for meg!!! Ole

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  3. Et av de mest spennende og interessante innleggene jeg har sett i 2014. Mye fordi jeg alltid har vært fascinert av slanger, men også for det en sjelden ser så fantastisk bra bilder av disse artene. Misunner deg disse opplevelsene Tom, råbra!!

    Knut Børge

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  4. Imponerende bilder du viser, gøy å se.

    Ottar

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  5. Du har fått noen ganske rå bilder. Godt jobbet!!!

    Kåre

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  6. Please note that Philothamnus is in actual fact an Eastern Natal Green Snake. The Western Natal Grene snake is a completely separate species.


    The "gaboon adder" you have pictured does not occur in Southern Africa. The specimen photographed is in a West African Gaboon Viper /Rhinoceros Viper - Bitis gabonica rhinoceros

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  7. This Gaboon Adder is from Tanzania and is Bitis gabonica. The two triangles under the eye are fused into one mark. The snake from West Africa is now called Rhino viper and it has one triangle just behind the eye to the angle of the jaw, and is Bitis rhinoceros, as it was raised to specie level by Lenk at al. in 1999. The snake previously called the rhino viper Bitis nasicornis is now called nose-horned viper.

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  8. hi Scream out : concerning the "green snake" you are absolutely right.

    When it comes the gaboon adder this was a "backup snake" in case of "nothing found out there". I have asked Mike Perry for a comment and I leave you to his compentent answer.

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