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Fastest Snake in America

Fastest Snake in America

09.22.2005 - This is the fastest snake in the United States of America, the Eastern Coachwhip. It has a top land speed of about 10 m.p.h. and a top air speed of 190 m.p.h. like most aerodynamic objects reaching terminal velocity. Ten miles per hour may not seem fast, but it is. It's a fast snake! I've seen only two in my life. I caught the above snake, and it took all of my speed and cunning. The second Coachwhip that I saw was too fast for me to nab, and it escaped under a mobile home. This snake is fairly rare, but another more common snake, the Black Racer, is almost as fast. Both of these snakes have excellent acceleration, and can dart from place to place very quickly.  I don't understand the physiology of the snake, but it's built for speed, and is sleek and muscular, unlike slower, fatter snakes.  I'm not sure why this snake needs to be fast, but of course the two best guesses are that it uses speed to catch its prey or to escape predators, or both. 

I think this is one of the best wildlife photos that I've taken.  I love the pose, the color of the snake, and I don't quite understand it, but you can see that the snake's tongue is translucent.  I don't know if this is some camera effect or what, but it looks cool.

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