less than 1 minute read

Vipers and Pitvipers: Viperidae


Most members of this family live on land, but some, such as the cottonmouth, spend a good part of their time in the water. Vipers and pitvipers make their homes in warm tropical climates and in cooler temperate climates that have distinct seasons, including cold winters. Temperate species often move from one habitat to another during the spring, summer, and fall and then hibernate through the winter. For example, North America's eastern massasauga rattlesnake spends the early spring near wetlands, moves into drier nearby fields for the hot summer months, and hibernates back near the water in underground burrows made by crayfish or small mammals. During hibernation (high-bur-NAY-shun), the animal enters a state of deep sleep that helps it to survive the frigid weather.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesVipers and Pitvipers: Viperidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Vipers, Pitvipers, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE