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Fatsnake

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Fatsnake

The poisonous fatsnake can strike out at prey 5-10 meters away from where it is lying. The fatsnake's body is heavy and slug-like.

The fatsnake, Pingophis viperaforme, is a large elapid from the undergrowth of the Australian tropical forests.

Convergent evolution on the Australian subcontinent is not solely characteristic of the marsupials. The fatsnake has adopted many of the characteristics of forest ground-dwelling vipers such as the gaboon viper and puff adder of the long-lived genus Bitis that are found in other pans of the Northern Continent. These include a fat, slow-moving body and a coloration that renders it totally invisible in the leaf litter of the forest floor. The fatsnake's neck is very long and slender and allows its head almost to forage independently of its body. Its main method of catching prey is to deal it a poisonous bite from where it lies hidden. Only later, when its venom has finally killed it and begun its digestive function, does the fatsnake finally catch up with it and eat it.

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