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Pronunciation: vi-per'i-de

Definition: A family of poisonous Old World snakes, the true vipers, composed of about 50 species and characterized by two relatively long caniculated fangs at the front of the upper jaw that are attached to movable bones, allowing them to be erect during the bite when the mouth is open, and folded into a palatal skin fold when the jaws are shut.

[L. vipera, viper]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.