“Giant” Puff Adders
Photographs of “giant” snakes often do the rounds on the social media and new maximum record lengths for snakes are published from time to time – invariably around 10% longer than the known length. In most cases, however, the length of a snake is guessed and then there is forced perception where the snake is held close to the camera and the photograph taken using a wide angle lens. There are a few Puff Adder photographs that have been doing the rounds on social media for many years and both snakes in the photos above were reportedly 1.6 m long. In this regard we have good data of Puff Adder lengths for Southern Africa that has been collected by scientists for over 100 years and the maximum length reported for the region is around 1.3 m but much longer elsewhere in Africa reportedly up to 1.8 m. The largest individual from Zimbabwe/Botswana measured 1.24 m (Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana by Broadley and Blaylock).