Reptile Order – Boomslang – the most venomous snake in Africa is often not considered very dangerous – the boomslang (Dispholidus typus). Drop for drop the boomslang has the most potent venom of any snake in Africa and the amount of venom that it requires to kill a human is so small that one can barely see it with the naked eye. The snake is unlikely to bite and if severely provoked, it will inflate its neck and once it does this it will strike out with intent. The boomslang is back-fanged with short fixed fangs far back in the mouth and, like most snakes, it can open its mouth very wide – up to 170˚- and easily latch onto an arm or a leg. While most venomous snakes have full control over their venom glands, back-fanged snakes have quite primitive glands and to envenomate their prey they need to strike a few times, putting pressure on the venom glands to ensure that venom is released from the duct.
The Boomslang’s venom is the most lethal of all African snakes,The venom can take 24 hours to kill. This reptile is not a large snake; it averages between 3 and 5 feet, though in exceptional cases in some parts of its range, it may exceed 6 feet. It has a rather slender, laterally compressed body with large, heavily keeled, overlapping scales. It is arboreal and widely distributed over much of sub-Saharan Africa, where it occurs in a range of habitats from coastal thickets to dry savannah, and even semi-desert areas.the boomslang exhibits a broad range of color forms. Adult dorsal coloration may be gray, green, black or yellow. Mottling is sometimes present, and occasionally, pinkish-red Boomslangs are also seen. The underbelly is off-white, yellowish or pale brown with or without spots. Young individuals are usually gray or brown with dark and light spots of bluish hue, and a yellowish or pinkish underbelly with varying shades of brown spots.
Reptile order Snake – The African rock python is non-venomous and kills its prey by constriction. After gripping the prey, the reptile coils around it, tightening its coils every time the victim breathes out. Death is thought to be caused by cardiac arrest rather than by asphyxiation or crushing. The African rock python feeds on a variety of large rodents, monkeys, antelopes, fruit bats, monitor lizards and even crocodiles in forest areas, and on rats, poultry, dogs and goats in suburban areas. A few cases are also known of this python hunting humans. African rock pythons are oviparous, laying between 20 and 100 hard-shelled, elongated eggs in an old animal burrow, termite mound or cave. The female shows a surprising level of maternal care, coiling around the eggs, protecting them from predators and possibly helping to incubate them, until they hatch around 90 days later. Individuals may live for over 12 years in captivity.