National Geographic : 1945 Oct
Why the puff adder should be called the "bluff adder" H ETERODON CONTORTRIX is a snake common to the eastern half of this country. Ile is often called "hog-nosed snake" because his nose turns up sharply, like a pig's. He is also called puff adder, because of a trick of his. Although harmless, he is short, thick, and has markings not unlike some rattlers. He looks poisonous. And if you corner him, he puts up a terrific bluff. Ile puffs himself up, hisses, coils, and strikes with a fury that's calculated to scare the daylights out of you. But, if you don't scare, he promptly puts on another performance. He writhes in agony, some times drawing part of his body through his open jaws. Then he flops on his back and apparently dies. You can pick him up-even hang him on a fence-and he's as lifeless as a piece of rope. But if you'll hide and watch, pretty soon lIrlerodon will roll over, and, seeing no enemy, start to wriggle off as fast as he can. 'hlie puff adder's antics are an example of the myriad ingenious devices which nature's crea- tures use to protect themselves from harm. But these devices are only preventive. To our knowl edge, man is the only animal who, in addition to devising preventive measures, has figured out a way to provide some compensation for him self when these preventive measures fail. If he is hurt, insurance helps meet his expenses until he is well again-and pays his doctor bills besides. If his house burns down, insurance helps him pay for a new one. If thieves make off with his valuables, insurance helps him to replace them. And through insurance, he can do what no other living creature can: protect his family long after he is gone. The wise person knows that sooner or later he may be the victim of mishaps which will cause considerable loss. That is why it is important to see a Travelers representative in your commu nity, before unfortunate mishaps occur. MORAL: Insure in The Travelers. All forms of insurance. The Travelers Insurance Company, 'lhe Travelers Indemnity Company, lThe 'lravel ers Fire Insurance Company, Hartford, Conn.