For Christmas this year, little Jimmy asked for night-vision goggles. He had been extra good, wrote Santa several nice letters, and had even spent time working at the local soup kitchen. He really, really wanted night vision goggles. They were exactly what he needed for a tactical edge over his friends in imaginary covert ops and would also come in handy when spying on his sister’s hot friends during sleepovers.
Unfortunately, little Jimmy has found himself in the middle of Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™, so he is bound to get something a little more… exotic. Even more unfortunate for little Jimmy, everybody over at Animal News: The Podcast is sick to death of birds. So I’ve eschewed the OBVIOUS choice of “Sand Pipers Piping” for day eleven.
No, Jimmy is getting a box of rattlesnakes this year. Tough nuts, Jimmy. But hey, we aren’t just here to jerk people around. Rattlesnakes were chosen specifically to address Jimmy’s wishes. See, Rattlesnakes are pit vipers. And pit vipers come with built-in infrared night-vision.
The eponymous pits on the face of pit vipers are heat sensing organs. They are some 30 times more sensitive than military issue infrared cameras. Also, since there are two of them, pit vipers can actually “see” heat in stereo, making it possible to not only identify the location of prey but also determine where and how it is moving.
The heat sensing abilities, combined with the snakes’ ability to smell in stereo (so that’s why they have a forked tongue,) the hypodermic needle-like fangs, and the ability to strike in a third of a second, make vipers awesome killing machines and awful Christmas gifts.
And just in case Jimmy’s box o’ rattlers doesn’t kill EVERYBODY in the family, we hid an eyelash viper in the poinsettias.