pit viper

pit viper
any of numerous venomous snakes of the family Crotalidae, of the New World, Asia, and the Malay Archipelago, as the rattlesnake, water moccasin, and copperhead, having a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head between the eye and nostril.

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Any species of viper (subfamily Crotalinae) that has, in addition to two movable fangs, a heat-sensitive pit organ between each eye and nostril which together help it accurately aim its strike at its warm-blooded prey.

Pit vipers are found from deserts to rain forests, primarily in the New World. They may be terrestrial, arboreal, or aquatic. Some species lay eggs; others produce live young. See also bushmaster, copperhead, fer-de-lance, moccasin, rattlesnake.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pit viper — Pit Viper …   Wikipedia

  • Pit viper — Pit Pit, n. [OE. pit, put, AS. pytt a pit, hole, L. puteus a well, pit.] 1. A large cavity or hole in the ground, either natural or artificial; a cavity in the surface of a body; an indentation; specifically: (a) The shaft of a coal mine; a coal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pit viper — n. any of a subfamily (Crotalinae) of poisonous vipers with a prominent, heat sensitive pit on each side of the head, as the rattlesnake or copperhead …   English World dictionary

  • pit-viper — pit viper, water, work etc.: see pit n.1 14 …   Useful english dictionary

  • pit viper — n any of various mostly New World highly specialized venomous snakes (as the rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin, and fer de lance) that belong to a subfamily (Crotalinae) of the family Viperidae, that have a small depression on each side of… …   Medical dictionary

  • pit viper — noun New World vipers with hollow fangs and a heat sensitive pit on each side of the head • Hypernyms: ↑viper • Hyponyms: ↑copperhead, ↑Agkistrodon contortrix, ↑water moccasin, ↑cottonmouth, ↑cottonmouth moccasin, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • pit viper — pit′ vi per n. ram any of various vipers, as the rattlesnake and copperhead, that have a heat sensitive pit above each nostril • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • pit viper — /ˈpɪt vaɪpə/ (say pit vuypuh) noun any of the snakes of the subfamily Crotalinae, with a wide distribution in the Old and New Worlds, having a pit on each side of the head in front of the eye …  

  • pit viper — noun Date: circa 1885 any of various mostly New World vipers (subfamily Crotalinae of the family Viperidae) with a sensory pit on each side of the head and hollow perforated retractable fangs …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pit viper — noun Any of various venomous snakes, of the family Crotalinae, found in Asia and the Americas, with a deep pit or fossa on either side of the head that enables them to detect prey by infrared. Syn: crotaline …   Wiktionary

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