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Though it looks harmless, this fer-de-lance—no more than two feet (0.6 meter) long—is one of the most poisonous snakes you can encounter in Madidi. One bite can kill you.

While on a group hike one day, one of our guides was bitten by a snake but hadn’t seen what had gotten him. We waited for a half hour to see if the guide would stiffen up. He didn’t. Must not have been poisonous.

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Photograph by Joel Sartore



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