Skin-crawling footage reveals the moment an adder slithers out its amniotic sac


Skin-crawling footage reveals the moment an adder slithers out its amniotic sac and takes its first breath

  • Footage reveals the moment a snake escapes from its amniotic sac after birth  
  • Video was taken near Guildford in Surrey and shows the snake writhing around 
  • it then breaks the outer layer and emerges onto the land with its first breaths  

This video shows the rare moment a newborn adder breaks free from its amniotic sac and takes its very first breath.

The baby reptile was born still inside the translucent sac and can be seen wriggling around inside before finally emerging.

It was caught on camera by photographer Dominic Greves who was amazed to see the sight after watching its mother slither away. 

Dominic Greves, 44, took the footage near Guildford in Surrey which shows the snake emerging from its amniotic sac.

Dominic Greves, 44, took the footage near Guildford in Surrey which shows the snake emerging from its amniotic sac.

HOW ARE ADDERS BORN?  

Male adders search for females in the summer and scour by looking for pheromones. 

This can cause conflict between different males.   

The males raise their bodies and intertwine with each other. 

Black or European adders are ovoviviparous.

This means the eggs are fertilised and incubate inside the mother and she gives birth to live young. 

The gestation period is three to four months. 

Adders typically give birth to about 12 babies, which are independent soon after birth.

The young snake eventually used its head to break free and followed its mum to safety in leafy heather nearby.

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Mr Greves, 44, said: ‘We saw an adult female adder lying in the heather which moved away after it was spotted.

‘Soon afterwards one of our group spotted a baby adder writhing around in a transparent sac where the female had been lying.

‘After a couple of minutes the baby adder pushed its way through the sac membrane and slithered off into the heather.’

The adder is the UK’s only venomous snake and can live for up to 15 years.

They are protected by law in Great Britain and it’s illegal to intentionally kill or injure them. 

Females incubate their eggs internally and give birth to live young- some still enclosed in an amniotic sac (pictured)

Females incubate their eggs internally and give birth to live young- some still enclosed in an amniotic sac (pictured)

Black or European adders are ovoviviparous which means they are fertilised and incubate inside the mother and she gives birth to live young

Black or European adders are ovoviviparous which means they are fertilised and incubate inside the mother and she gives birth to live young

Adders typically give birth to about 12 babies, which are independent soon after birth and go about living on their own

Adders typically give birth to about 12 babies, which are independent soon after birth and go about living on their own 

Females incubate their eggs internally and give birth to live young- some still enclosed in an amniotic sac.

Mr Greeves, who took the photos and video on heath land near Guildford in Surrey, added: ‘No-one in our group of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation volunteers had ever witnessed this before.

‘I can’t find any videos showing the same behaviour on the web, certainly not taken in the wild.

‘I’m a regular conservation volunteer based in Surrey. I’ve been photographing British wildlife for the last 10 years.’

 





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