Agkistrodon piscivorus is a venomous snake, a species of pit viper, found in the southeastern United States. Adults are large and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite. When antagonized, they will stand their ground by coiling their bodies and displaying their fangs. Although their aggression has been exaggerated, individuals may bite when feeling threatened or being handled. This is the world's only semiaquatic viper, usually found in or near water, particularly in slow-moving and shallow lakes, streams, and marshes. The snake is a strong swimmer and will even enter the sea. It has successfully colonized islands off both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The generic name is derived from the Greek words ancistro (hooked) and odon (tooth), and the specific name comes from the Latinpiscis (fish) and voro (to eat); thus, the scientific name translates into “hooked-tooth fish-eater”. Common names include variants on water moccasin, swamp moccasin, black moccasin, cottonmouth, gapper, or simply viper. Many of the common names refer to the threat display, where this species will often stand its ground and gape at an intruder, exposing the white lining of its mouth. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here. Its diet consists mainly of fish and frogs but is otherwise highly varied and, uniquely, has even been reported to include carrion.
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social challenges. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition has been subject to controversy, in particular as lacking operational value and because of the problem created by use of the word "complete" Other definitions have been proposed, among which a recent definition that correlates health and personal satisfaction. Classification systems such as the WHO Family of International Classifications, including the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), are commonly used to define and measure the components of health. Health is that balanced condition of the living organism in which the integral, harmonious performance of the vital functions tends to the preservation of the organism and the normal development of the individual.