Wann wurde das Seitenwinden wüstenbewohnender Vipern erstmals beschrieben? Und war die Spinnenschwanz-Viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides Bostanchi et al., 2006) vielleicht schon fast 2000 Jahre vorher bekannt?
Using two examples, we report on the knowledge of snake behavior written down by antique authors already two millennia ago, and we discuss how this information can be interpreted today. The first example concerns the locomotion by sidewinding in desert-dwelling vipers, the second example is represented by the horned viper (in Greek "Kerastes") and its aggressive mimicry by tail luring to attract prey items. It seems possible that already at that time the only recently discovered spider-tailed viper might have played a role in these old writings.