water moccasin(redirected from water moccasins)
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cottonmouth,highly venomous snakesnake,
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. , Ancistrodon piscivorus, of the swamps and bayous of the S United States. Like the closely related copperhead, it is a pit viperpit 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. and has a heat-sensitive organ for detecting warm-blooded prey. The young are born live. The young snake is a pale reddish brown with transverse dark brown bands edged with white; as it ages the colors dull to a blotched olive or brown and then to an unmarked olive or blackish in old specimens. The maximum length is 6 ft (2 m), the average from 3 to 4 ft (90–120 cm). A good climber, the water moccasin often relaxes on branches overhanging the water. If startled it erects its head and shows the white interior of its mouth—hence the name cottonmouth. It eats both warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals. It is aggressive in the wild state but may become quite tame in captivity. It is 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 Crotalidae.
water moccasin[′wȯd·ər ‚mäk·ə·sən]
Agkistrodon piscivorus. A semiaquatic venomous pit viper; skin is brownish or olive on the dorsal aspect, paler on the sides, and has indistinct black bars. Also known as cottonmouth.
(also cottonmouth) highly poisonous snake found in southern U.S. [Zoology: NCE, 2490]