Image # 2749
Bushmaster specimen being weighed in the field
This seven foot long Bushmaster was killed by settlers clearing virgin rainforest in the Choco rainforest and was given to members of a scientific expedition. This dead specimen is being weighed by Francisco Sarnosa, an Ecuadorean hired as a field technician by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadeliphia. After weighing, the Bushmaster was injected with formalin and is the first specimen of this species preserved in the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (Ecuatorial Natural Science Museum) in Quito, Ecuador. Bushmasters are the largest venomous snake in the Western Hemisphere reaching 12 feet in length. Human victims of Bushmaster bites suffer greater than 50% mortality even with antivenom treatment. This makes Bushmasters one of the most dangerous snakes on Earth. Bushmasters can be aggressive, and victims often sucumb within minutes of the bite.