Racing on a single track bike trail with wind streaming through your hair and shrubs blurring past. This is freedom.
SUDDENLY a bright pink mouth with fangs deadly strikes from underneath causing a surge of adrenaline. The dreaded, yet intricately beautiful puff adder.
^Check out our morning ride on the 2 min video.^
In the video you’ll notice many shrubs, succulents and thorn trees. The floral region is known as the Robertson Karoo.
The climate is semi-arid due to the region lying in the rainshadow of large mountain ranges. Summers are dry with temperatures reaching maximum of 40 ‘C ( 104 F) while winters are cool and moist with minimum of -1’C (30 F). It has a average monthly precipitation of 7,7 mm in winter months (Apr – Oct).
Consequently the biome is a succulent shrubland. The plants are adapted to prevent water loss in the dry season.
Interesting fact about puff adders:Puff adders hunt by ambushing their prey, and can lie motionless for weeks at a single location waiting for prey to pass. This behavior makes them vulnerable to predation.
A recent study at University of Witwatersrand found that (except for its visual camouflage) it has a chemical camouflage. They observed that dogs and the tame mongooses used in the study walked directly over motionless puff adders with both predators appearing to be completely unaware of the motionless snakes.