The animal on the cover of Essential ActionScript 3.0 is the coral snake (Micrurus fulvius tenere). This highly dangerous snake is found in the southeastern states of North America and can also be found in Mexico. It likes wet, humid, and thick foliage-littered forests, but can be found in any environment.
The coral snake is recognized by its vibrant red, yellow, and black bands. These colors ward off would-be attackers. On the head and tail are bands of black and yellow; on the midsection are black, yellow, and red bands. The red bands are always adjacent to the yellow bands. The average length of a snake is 24 inches, with a maximum length of 47 inches. The coral snake is the only venomous snake in North America to hatch its young from eggs.
Coral snakes have short, grooved, and hollow fangs located at the front of the mouth. They feed on lizards and other snakes. Coral snakes bite their prey to inject neurotoxic venom, which paralyzes the victim; however, unlike snakes of the viper family, which use a stabbing method, when a coral snake bites its victim, it hangs on for a long time to inject as much venom as possible. Coral snakes are seldom seen, due to their habit of living underground, or in cracks and crevices, and their nocturnal tendencies. Coral snakes usually do not bite humans unless handled. If a human or pet is bitten, treatment should take place as soon as possible, since coral snake bites are often fatal.
The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the ...