The horned viper belongs to the reptile family. Dispersed throughout Yugoslavia and some regions of Austria these vipers can also be found in Italy on the eastern Alps. They are easily distinguishable from the usual vipera aspis and vipera berus by a horn, sometimes growing to a length of 5 centimetres, which sprouts out from the tip of the head. The horned viper prefers limestone or very stoney ground, and loves hot climates. It moves rather slowly, particularly during the day, when it sits lazily in the sun, digesting its captured prey which it swallows whole. But, if disturbed, the viper rears up emitting a hissing noise and sinking into the flesh of its enemy two poisonous fangs which are normally kept folded and hidden in a sac in its palate. In this respect, its behaviour is quite similar to that of the other European vipers.


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