Animals can be encountered lying in ambush
February 12, 2015 5:28 PM   Subscribe

 
"Who took an ANT, as it's prey." A well-milked line...

Why did the bird go back after the first "gotcha!" from the viper failed? Silly bird.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh it gets better... around 1:49.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:35 PM on February 12, 2015


Thanks! I'd rather not.
posted by Krazor at 5:38 PM on February 12, 2015


Holy shit.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2015


Animals like spider-tailed vipers are a bit hard for me to wrap my brain around in terms of evolution.

It makes me imagine that there is a god and he/she/it has weird hobbies and sits around making up weird ass stuff like this when bored.
posted by Michele in California at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


It makes me imagine that there is a god and he/she/it has weird hobbies and sits around making up weird ass stuff like this when bored.

Where the hell do you think we came from?
posted by jim in austin at 5:51 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Eeek, do not want. Iran can keep them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:58 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder whether the viper is mimicking an identifiable specific spider, or whether we are seeing a distilled and blended essence of ideal tasty spider pulled bit by bit over centuries from the brains of the birds that viper preys upon?
posted by jamjam at 6:03 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I had tried to use something like this in one of my dungeons (a treasure-tailed lamia noble, perhaps?), my party would have lodged a protest of "too-contrived." Go home, Evolution, you're drunk evil.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:03 PM on February 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I keep thinking that at some point I will have seen most of the different interesting things about the world, and amazing surprises like this will start to taper off. But somehow ever-crazier things present themselves week after week.
posted by CaseyB at 6:05 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


- Tarantula Hawk Wasp
- Spider Tailed Horned Viper
- Human Bot Fly

The formula here is to take the combination of horrifying, dangerous creatures/things to obtain even more horrible, even more dangerous things.
posted by iandennismiller at 6:05 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's my viper camouflage story! So I study arboreal monkeys, which means I spend a lot of time looking up trying to keep track of where they are. Which is fine, except the forest I work in has gaboon vipers (with the fantastic scientific name of Bitis gabonica) in abundance. As you might notice, Gaboon vipers are gigantic, and also terrifying, and also really well camouflaged. For example, here is a patch of forest. There is a viper there. Do you see it yet? How about now?
So now, every time you are walking through the forest keeping track of your monkeys frolicking above, you need to be reasonably sure you won't step on a viper, which is pretty much impossible. Sometimes, some of the other monkeys who travel on the ground notice a snake, and then alarm call and alert you to its presence by mobbing the snake until it slithers off somewhere else. Otherwise, you just have to cross your fingers and walk quickly!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2015 [33 favorites]


More info on the beastie, with a closeup of the tail.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:23 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


That narrator's voice is kind of ridiculous.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:31 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm still looking for the gaboon viper - in those photos, on my carpet, in the curtains - it could be anywhere!
posted by moonmilk at 7:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


Never get outta the boat never get outta the boat never
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


KNOWING FULL WELL that the viper had a spider-like structure on its tail, just before the bird landed I literally thought, "OK, there's a real spider, but when are you going to show us the snake again?"

Yeah, totally would have been prey.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:54 PM on February 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yeah, when the snake settled down and started its "come hither" routine, the tail totally registered as a real spider to me, even though I knew it wasn't.
posted by tdismukes at 8:04 PM on February 12, 2015


Man if there's ever a peanut M&M tailed viper i'm toast.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:18 PM on February 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


Or a snake that looks like a pez dispenser, but instead of pez you get venom.
posted by moonmilk at 8:21 PM on February 12, 2015


Or a viper that looks like a nice cat in need of cuddling. Doomed. I would be doomed.
posted by rtha at 9:00 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Um yeah, so where is the gaboon viper in that photo? I don't see it even in the "how about now" link and otherwise I'm inclined to use a flamethrower.
posted by jamaro at 9:32 PM on February 12, 2015


Oh man, I just spotted its head. Flamethrower on.
posted by jamaro at 9:35 PM on February 12, 2015


WHERE!?
posted by moonmilk at 9:41 PM on February 12, 2015


It's that horrible yellow leaf in the just below and left of middle of the image. THATS NOT A LEAF AAAAHHH ITS A HEAD!!
The black triangle on the yellow leaf points right at its EYE.


If that's not its head i'm going to never go outside again because, gaboon vipers. jesus.
posted by jamaro at 9:44 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


jamaro: "Flamethrower on."

Indeed.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:02 PM on February 12, 2015


Still can't see the gaboon snake. So happy for the development of modern civilization and living in cities - evidently I would be first in line for providing a viper's dinner otherwise.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:19 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to outline this plz.
posted by Dr. Send at 11:01 PM on February 12, 2015


I saw a bird on the way
That took an ant for its prey
Its beak was uncleaned

When I suddenly screamed
Because I knew there was an effing Gaboon Viper in the picture but I couldn't find it.
Sorry, had to finish the limerick.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:12 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I see the body. That's all.

And if that snake is scary to an Australian, I'm scared too.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:32 PM on February 12, 2015




Gee, a spider and snake in one, can it get any better?
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:19 AM on February 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


If you have entirely and completely given up looking for the gaboon viper, I have outlined the head and part of the body for you.



I used to look for snakes at dawn and dusk, when it's hard to see anything, and I had a hard time finding this humungous, heavy bodied, two-inch-fang-havin' viper. That kind of scares me. I don't know how many of you have seen a gaboon viper in person, but they are not petite or subtle in any way - they are great big thick snakes with some of the most colorful markings I have ever seen. the only reason I was able to find the one in the picture is that I was told it was there - I never would have noticed the scales otherwise.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:41 AM on February 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


And when I say "kind of" that is because I am not anywhere near where these huge reptile mines live.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:45 AM on February 13, 2015


Here is its head, from a different angle.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


And, just for added fun times, in the documentary the Elephant in the Living Room, about exotic pet owners, the animal control officer in Dayton, OH tells a story about getting a call from someone that their kids had found a giant python in the garage and were playing with it; someone must have had it as a pet and it got out. So he got there, and it turns out it was a Gaboon Viper. Some asshole in urban Ohio felt like it would be awesome to have a pet Gaboon Viper, and let it get out. Fortunately, these snakes are very low key ambush hunters, so they're not particularly aggressive snakes - my assistant stepped ON one, and it didn't bite him - and the kids were OK.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:42 AM on February 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Some asshole in urban Ohio felt like it would be awesome to have a pet Gaboon Viper, and let it get out.

Do they ever find that person and slap them for being an idiot?
posted by louche mustachio at 4:49 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eh, that's nothing - we've got a freakin' Nile crocodile.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:45 AM on February 13, 2015


I was on a hike at lunchtime a few years ago, at a park near my office. I was walking along this trail, looking up (for birds, not monkeys, we don't have monkeys in the wild in California) when I heard a rattling noise. I discovered that I had the power to magically transport myself at least ten feet, without conscious effort.

When I looked back down the trail I saw a very large rattlesnake - easily four feet long - as it slithered out of the grass and on to the trail. We looked at each other for a moment, and then it continued across and disappeared into the grass on the other side.

Now, whenever I see these beautiful California hills, their grasses rippling in the breeze, I know the truth: They are full of snakes.
posted by rtha at 5:47 AM on February 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


*Boggle*
posted by asok at 6:54 AM on February 13, 2015


rtha: When I looked back down the trail I saw a very large rattlesnake
True fact: water moccasins look exactly like coils of old, rotted rope when basking. Sometimes basking feels so good they don't even mind a 100+ pound kid stepping on them.
rtha: I discovered that I had the power to magically transport myself at least ten feet, without conscious effort.
Me too! And my cousin can do cartwheels downhill, which is also pretty impressive.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:12 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


IAmBroom, rtha and Mrs. Wallflower would make an interesting dance troupe. The Snake Jumpers.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:33 AM on February 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was walking and some people had gathered where a small drainage culvert opened on the ground. I asked what they were looking at, when I looked and could not see anything there. They pointed out two coiled rattlesnakes in the mouth of the culvert and I still could not see them. I turned my head several angles until I could, but realized they are basically invisible to me. I started drawing rattlesnake pattern so I could learn to see it. I have such an inborn resistance to the patterns I can barely draw them. Making art is what I do, so I drew a whole, large victorian fainting couch, with rattlesnake pattern. Still they are invisible to me, I used to say I have hiked all over Utah, but I have never seen a rattler, I don't say that anymore.
posted by Oyéah at 9:10 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want to see this snake go up against the honey badger cause honey badger doesn't give a shit.
posted by HyperBlue at 1:47 PM on February 13, 2015


Here is its head, from a different angle.

OOOOHH, mother of god I see it now.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:25 PM on February 13, 2015


my cousin can do cartwheels downhill

You know who else can roll downhill?

Hoop snakes.
posted by moonmilk at 6:36 PM on February 13, 2015


Well add me to the list of dead monkeys. I can see the partial head, but still can't figure out how it attaches to the body.

I was also amazed that the bird went back for the 'spider' after narrowly escaping death the first time. That snake has talent.
posted by kanewai at 11:16 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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