Is the viper to have the most lightning and deadly attack among all snakes, how often do we hear it said? It would seem not. The bite of the reptiles of this family is quick, but other non-poisonous snakes get practically equal performances.

Russell's viper, the world's deadliest snake

Dangerous arguments. To demolish yet another common place on the animal world were three researchers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (USA). Disdainful of the danger, biologists have glimpsed three species of snakes with a glove - an adamantine Western Crotalus (Crotalus atrox), a western moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) and an American rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) - filming their attacks with a high speed camera.

Similar speeds. The first two species belong to the viperid family and are poisonous; the snake of rats is instead a non-poisonous colubride that attacks only small animals, such as field mice. Looking at the images in slow motion we saw that the rattlesnake attacks at an average speed of 2.95 m / s, the moccasin at 2.98 m / s and the snake of rats at 2.67 m / s: the vipers are slightly more fast, but for the researchers the differences are so minimal as to define the equivalent performances.

Beat your eyes and … The acceleration borne by the head of all snakes during the attack - on average 190 m / s² - is higher than that experienced by military pilots. In all three cases, the bite arrived in 50-90 milliseconds: less than a blink of an eye (lasting about 220 milliseconds). To be bitten, just have your eyes closed at the wrong time.