Deadly venom, lightning speed, long, sinous bodies and flickering, forked tongues make people fear snakes more than most other animals. Many snakes grow several metres long and can swallow extremely large prey, making them all the more daunting. Poisonous snakes do not hunt people, but use their venom to immobilize or kill the small animals that they eat, such as rats or lizards. They only bite humans to defend themselves when they feel threatened . Some snake venom is so powerful that it can kill a person unless they are treated quickly.
The Gaboon viper has a huge body 2m long, and lives in the tropical rainforests of western and central Africa. It relies on camoflauge to help it catch rodents and frogs. It lies in wait on the forest floor, it's vivid geometric markings making it almost invisible against the surrounding leaf litter. The Gaboon viper has fangs that are 5cm long-the longest fangs of any snake.