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viper,any of a large number of heavy-bodied, poisonous snakessnake,
common name for an elongated, limbless reptile of the order Squamata, which also includes the xlizards. Most snakes live on the ground, but some are burrowers, arboreal, or aquatic; one group is exclusively marine. In temperate climates they hibernate.
..... Click the link for more information. of the family Viperidae, characterized by erectile, hypodermic fangs. The fangs are folded back against the roof of the mouth except when the snake strikes. Vipers are distributed throughout Eurasia and Africa. They range in size from under 1 ft (30 cm) to nearly 6 ft (2 m) and often have zigzag or diamond patterns. Best known is the common European viper, or adder (Vipera berus), distributed throughout Europe and N Asia. It feeds on small mammals and lizards and hibernates in winter. Its venom is rarely fatal to humans. The asp viper, or aspasp,
popular name for several species of viper, one of which, the European asp (Vipera aspis), is native to S Europe. It is also a name for the Egyptian cobra (Naja haja).
..... Click the link for more information. (V. aspis), is a smaller species inhabiting S Europe. The greatest variety of vipers is found in Africa. The brightly patterned Gaboon viper, Bitis gabonica, is the longest of the vipers and has a body diameter of up to 6 in. (15 cm). The puff adder, B. arietans, found over most of Africa and in Arabia, is a highly venomous species whose bite is often fatal. The pit viperspit viper,
poisonous snake of the family Crotalidae, primarily a New World family. Like the Old World true vipers (family Viperidae), pit vipers have long, hollow, erectile fangs that are folded back against the roof of the mouth except when the snake is striking.
..... Click the link for more information. of the Americas, including the rattlesnakerattlesnake,
poisonous New World snake of the pit viper family, distinguished by a rattle at the end of the tail. The head is triangular, being widened at the base. The rattle is a series of dried, hollow segments of skin, which, when shaken, make a whirring sound.
..... Click the link for more information. , copperheadcopperhead,
poisonous snake, Ancistrodon contortrix, of the E United States. Like its close relative, the water moccasin, the copperhead is a member of the pit viper family and detects its warm-blooded prey by means of a heat-sensitive organ behind the nostril.
..... Click the link for more information. , water moccasinwater moccasin
highly venomous snake, Ancistrodon piscivorus, of the swamps and bayous of the S United States. Like the closely related copperhead, it is a pit viper and has a heat-sensitive organ for detecting warm-blooded prey.
..... Click the link for more information. , fer-de-lancefer-de-lance
, highly poisonous snake, Bothrops atrox, found in tropical South America and the West Indies. A pit viper, related to the bushmaster and the rattlesnake, it has heat-sensitive organs on the head for detecting its warm-blooded prey.
..... Click the link for more information. , and bushmasterbushmaster,
large venomous snake, Lachesis muta, of Central America and N South America. It is a member of the pit viper family, which also includes the rattlesnake. The largest New World snake, it reaches a length of 8 to 12 ft (2.5–5.5 m).
..... Click the link for more information. , are classified in a separate family. Vipers are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Viperidae.
The terrorist and mercenary known as Viper first appeared as Madame Hydra, created by writer/artist Jim Steranko, in Captain America vol. 1 #110 (1969). (She is not to be confused with the later supervillain Madame Hydra VI, who debuted in Nick Fury vs. SHIELD #3, 1988.) An orphaned child, the future Viper suffered an accident that permanently scared the right side of her face. She turned to crime to support herself and became a mercenary, then enlisted as one of the first female recruits into the subversive organization Hydra. Under the name Madame Hydra she headed up Hydra's New York operations, where she encountered and battled Captain America. In Captain America #157 (1973), writer Steve Englehart introduced a male costumed villain named the Viper, who later joined the supervillain team the Serpent Squad. In issue #180 (1974) Madame Hydra, no longer a member of Hydra, murdered the original Viper, took over his alias, and reorganized the Serpent Squad. The new Viper followed a nihilist philosophy, believing in nothing. In her most spectacular terrorist act, she tried to crash the SHIELD Heli-carrier into the U.S. Capitol (Marvel Team-Up vol. 1 #85, 1979), eerily foreshadowing the September 11, 2001, attacks by more than two decades. A brilliant criminal strategist trained in various martial arts, the Viper is a skilled markswoman and bullwhip wielder. She is also extremely knowledgeable in the properties and uses of toxins, poisons, and snake venoms (hence her identity), often creating her own poisons that she dispenses through her fangs or through poisoned lipstick. She has been known to carry a set of lethal, snake venom–tipped darts. Viper is a frequent partner of the Silver Samurai, although their various criminal activities often take them in different directions. She has clashed with several costumed heroes, including the original Spider- Woman and the Black Widow. The villainess has a tangled history with Wolverine, whom she manipulated into marrying her, and then later divorced. Since then the Viper has affiliated herself with the Inner Circle of the infamous Hellfire Club.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The common name for reptiles of the family Viperidae; thick-bodied poisonous snakes having a pair of long fangs, present on the anterior part of the upper jaw, which fold against the roof of the mouth when the jaws are closed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
(or adder) poisonous snake family; puff adder is deadliest of all. [Zoology: NCE, 2898]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. any venomous Old World snake of the family Viperidae, esp any of the genus Vipera (the adder and related forms), having hollow fangs in the upper jaw that are used to inject venom
2. any of various other snakes, such as the horned viper
3. See pit viper
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005