The Western Ghats boast of some of the lushest rainforests of India. Breathtaking views, pleasant temperatures and of course, home to some of the most beautiful creatures in the natural world.
One of the stars in these woods is the gorgeous Pit Viper mostly found slithering through nooks and creeks.The most common pit vipers found in the Western Ghats are the Malabar pit viper and the Hump nosed pit viper. The most spectacular feature of these snakes is their heat sensing pits located near their mouths, giving the illusion of nostrils. The better to sense you with, my dear!
Pit vipers use this feature to sense and locate their prey- warm blooded animals.
They are venomous snakes with effects of the venom ranging from mild to fatal on humans. Having said that, pit vipers aren’t really hot-headed. Being cold-blooded has its benefits! They seldom bite and do so only when provoked. They are mostly nocturnal and can be seen hunting at night and during the early hours of the morning.
Apart from their uniquely shaped ‘nostrils’, pit vipers are seen in beautiful hues and relatively smaller sizes. These ninjas are extremely well camouflaged! They can last for days in the same position, without moving an inch! Talk about channeling your inner Mr. Miyagi!
Since they are cold-blooded animals and sunlight is at a premium in the rainforests, they have to conserve energy; be it for hunting or finding a more comfortable spot to rest. A definite place to see pit vipers are in the coffee plantations of the Western Ghats- the shade particularly aiding in creating a favorable environment for them. You can see them basking in the sun when their bodies need to be warmed up and then they comfortably slither away to a shadier spot, once their body temperature is regulated. They use their energy wisely and make the most of the scenic plantations. Those are some serious #lifegoals!
That leaves us with only one question. Where do we sign up for this relaxed lifestyle? 🙂
All photos by Amoghavarsha
Edited by Dominic D’Cruz