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fer-de-lance (fĕr´-də-lăns´), highly poisonous snake, Bothrops atrox, found in tropical South America and the West Indies. A pit viper, related to the bushmaster and the rattlesnake, it has heat-sensitive organs on the head for detecting its warm-blooded prey. Usually about 5 to 6 ft (150–180 cm) long, the fer-de-lance may reach a maximum length of about 9 ft (3 m). It is gray or brown with light stripes and dark diamond markings and has a yellow throat. Common throughout most of its range, it causes many human fatalities. It is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Crotalidae.

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fer de lance / ˌferdlˈans; -ˈäns/ • n. (pl. fers de lance / ˌfer(z)-/ or fer de lances ) a large and dangerous pit viper (genus Bothrops) native to Central and South America.

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Fer-De-Lance ★½ Operation Serpent 1974

A stricken submarine is trapped at the bottom of the sea, with a nest of deadly snakes crawling through the ship. 120m/C VHS, DVD . David Janssen, Hope Lange, Ivan Dixon, Jason Evers; D: Russ Mayberry. TV

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