August 08, 2013

Backsliding Facts

  • Some vipers have keeled scales, which have a ridge down the middle. These snakes feel rough to the touch and appear dull and non-reflective instead of shiny.

  • The percentage of women in the US who were married at least once by the age of 24 dropped from 88% in 1970, down to 38% in 2009.

  • The record length for a copperhead snake (Agkistrodon contorix) is 132.1 cm (52.0 inches).

  • Young copperhead snakes have bright yellow tips on their tails. They wiggle the tips of their tails around to imitate a caterpillar, which lures prey like small frogs and lizards.

  • During the summer, copperheads are chiefly active at dawn, dusk and in the night.

  • The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) was named the state reptile of West Virginia in 2008.

  • In 1995, Tennessee chose the Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) as the state reptile. North Carolina had already chosen this species as the state reptile in 1979. Currently both states have the same state reptile.

  • In 2011, Tennessee's annual black bear hunt set a new state record at 581 animals.

  • The scientific name for the timber rattlesnake, Crotalus horridus, comes from crotalum, which means mean "bell or rattle", and horridus, which means "dreadful".

  • People may dread Mondays, but according to one study, Wednesday is the day of the week with the highest rate of suicide. Monday and Saturday are tied for the second highest suicide rates.

  • Snakes that ambush their prey at night tend to have vertical pupils. Due to the narrow width, objects that are farther away appear sharper and a greater range of distances is in focus.

  • The king cobra is the world's largest venomous snake. It has enough venom to kill an elephant.

  • In snake-charming, the charmer sways and moves the pungi, a flute-like instrument. The snake responds as it would to a predator, not because of the sound, but because of the movement.

  • The marriage rate in Kentucky has declined by almost half between 1990 to 2011.

  • There are a few places in the world where there are no snakes: Ireland, New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica among them.

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