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Vipers: Snakes evolved horns on eyes and nose based on their habitat

The horns on vipers’ eyes may assist camouflage their head in rocky areas or timber, whereas these with nostril horns could mix in higher on forest flooring

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2 November 2021

horned adder (Bitis caudalis), photographed in Namibia

A horned adder photographed in Namibia

Theo Busschau

The small horns that stud the heads of many viper species could play a task in camouflage, suggesting they developed on account of the various environments the snakes inhabit.

Theo Busschau and Stéphane Boissinot at New York College Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates studied whether or not horn evolution in these reptiles could possibly be tied to environmental components by analysing the bodily options of 263 viper species to find out their evolutionary relationships to one another. In addition they in contrast horn placement – over …

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