The New Student's Reference Work/Viper
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Vi'per, the common name for several very poisonous snakes of the Old World. They have a triangular head and a robust body. The European viper, often called the asp, is widely distributed in Europe. It is about two feet long, of yellowish brown color, with black spots. In England, a similar form, commonly called the adder, is the only venomous reptile known to inhabit Great Britain. In Africa the most common variety is the horned viper with a horn-like scale over each eye. It lies partly hidden in the sandy wastes of northern Africa, awaiting its prey. It is possible that this is the asp used by Cleopatra in committing suicide. There are two vipers in India, one about 20 inches long and the other about four feet long.