Large Aquatic Snake Chases Boat Near Virginia Beach
Nature is filled with wonder. There are so many peculiar inhabitants all around, those we see and those we don’t get to see with the naked eye. Bugs and critters and animals, both big and small, dot the world around us, claiming their territory. Naturally, when humans cross their path, these inhabitants of our planet want to get closer and examine their ‘guests’, be it from close or from afar. When they keep their distance, it is no big deal. But when they climb onto your patio, get into your tent or chase after your boat, you better stay alert, because, after all, you are their guest.
This footage shows an aquatic cottonmouth snake chasing a group of people in a boat while they were out taking water samples. The video was filmed off the coast Virginia Beach in the US earlier this week, and you have to admit, it looks like a scene straight out of a horror movie. The snake glides seamlessly through the water, following the boat, unaware that it is about to become a viral internet sensation.
The owner of the video, Cory Routh says: “This Cottonmouth came out to check us out while we were taking water samples. so I sent in the GoPro to check her out.”
The cottonmouth is a venomous pit viper, found in the southeastern United States. This is the only semi-aquatic viper, usually found near or in water, especially in marshes, streams and slow-moving and shallow lakes. They are such strong swimmers, that individuals have been spotted entering the sea.
“This species is found in the eastern US from the Great Dismal Swamp in southeast Virginia, south through the Florida peninsula and west to Arkansas, eastern and southern Oklahoma, and western and southern Georgia (excluding Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona). A few records exist of the species being found along the Rio Grande in Texas, but these are thought to represent disjunct populations, now possibly eradicated. The type locality given is "Carolina", although Schmidt proposed this be restricted to the area around Charleston, South Carolina.”
There are three distinct subspecies of what is known as the Agkistrodon piscivorus. Their generic name is pretty self-explanatory: ‘ancistro’ and ‘odon’ mean ‘hooked’ and ‘tooth’, while ‘piscis’ and ‘voro’ mean ‘fish’ and ‘to eat’. Their name literally means ‘hooked-tooth fish eater’.
The ‘fisheaters’ are the largest of the Agkistrodon genus, with adults known to exceed 31 in length. There is, however, a record exists showing the largest recorded specimen of a cottonmouth snake to be 74 inches in length, based on a specimen caught in the Dismal Swamp region and given to the Philadelphia Zoological Garden.
The venom of the cottonmouth is far more toxic than that of the copperhead viper, since it contains a higher concentration of a cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue. Deaths are rare, but the bite can leave scars, or in more severe cases, require amputation. It may cause an anaphylactic reaction in a bitten individual, but the bite can be effectively treated with CroFab antivenom.