Snakes have a bad reputation for being slimy and evil throughout history. These assumptions are based on misinformation that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The more we know about these commonly misunderstood creatures based on scientific observations, the better we can understand them.
Scientists have studied and logged snakes since the 16th century. Despite this, we still have a lot to learn about these limbless creatures.
Some species, such as Helminthophis, have only been captured once or twice for scientific studies, demonstrating that there is still much to learn about these creatures.
These snake facts will help everyone better understand these mysterious creatures.
Cool Snake Facts
- Bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and mink are some of the many animals they prey on snakes.
- A common king snake will prey on any snake, including venomous pit vipers.
- Fire ants pose a significant threat to snake eggs, such as the hognose.
- Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and rat snakes often share a den.
- Garter snakes hibernate in swarms.
- Snakes spend the majority of their lives underground, tunneling or burrowing beneath logs and rocks. Pine and hognose snakes dig their own burrows while others occupy abandoned burrows.
- Temperature has an effect on a snake’s growth, ability to capture prey, and ability to evade predators.
- Because of their low energy expenditure, diamondback rattlesnakes only need to eat a few times per year.
- Snakes and lizards are so closely related that some snake-like lizards have reduced or no legs, while others have residual limbs.
Snake Bite Facts
- Fire-bellied snakes are immune to poison from poison-dart frogs.
- Snakes that have recently been killed or decapitated retain their bite reflex and can still cause harm to you.
- 25% of pit-viper bites are “dry,” meaning they don’t release any venom.
- Even if their prey is hidden in the darkness, rattlesnakes can strike with pinpoint accuracy. They, like many other snakes, have an excellent sense of infrared emissions.
- The majority of snake bites in the United States occur between April and September, when snakes are most active.
- Some snakebites will draw blood, but most bites from smaller, non-venomous snakes will feel more like a scratch.
Physical Snake Facts
- Some snakes have well-developed lungs, while others have a larger right lung than a left lung. Corn snakes, for example, have a right lung that runs the length of their body, while the left lung is much smaller.
- Some snakes have a single ovary, which contributes to their slim build.
- Snake scales are merely folds of keratin-rich skin.
- All snakes lack external ears. Vibrations allow them to detect low-frequency sounds.
- Snakes interpret sounds via the quadrate bone, which connects their upper and lower jaws and connects to their inner ear.
- The majority of garter snakes have a red tongue with black tips.
- The pit organs, also known as “heat pits,” of a snake contain heat-sensitive nerve endings that connect to the brain, allowing them to “see” in the dark.
- G. Kingsley and A. Schmidt discovered in the 1930s that rattlesnakes could tell the difference between a warm and a cold light bulb. As long as the rattlesnake’s heat pits were not covered, it would strike at the warm bulb.
- Snake heat pits can detect temperature changes as small as.003 degrees Celsius.
- Mud snakes and rainbow snakes have scales on their tail tips that help them secure themselves while eating salamanders or eels.
- Many snake species have remnants of their hind limbs.
- Crawfish snakes have enlarged teeth that allow them to grasp and consume hard-shelled prey.
- Snakes lack both moveable eyelids and external eardrums.
- Except for teeth, hair, and feathers, a snake’s digestive acids can dissolve anything it eats.
Snake Behavior Facts
- Some snakes, such as the African burrowing snake, have relatively rigid jaws and feed on small insects such as termites.
- To swallow large prey, snakes do not unhinge their jaws from their skulls. They instead separate their lower jaw and each side, allowing large prey to pass through.
- Temperature, health, growth, and nutrition all influence how long it takes to shed the outer layer of a snake’s skin.
- Many snakes can consume their prey while suspended from a tree limb.
- Snakes can move at speeds of up to 6 kilometers per hour (3.73 mph)
- Short distances, the black mamba can reach 11 kph (6.84 mph).
- Only a few snake species can sidewind, which helps them move on slick surfaces.
- Female snakes have the ability to influence the genotypes and phenotypes of their offspring.
- Female snakes have the ability to postpone reproduction until they have enough energy to produce eggs or embryos.
- During mating season, male snakes frequently sacrifice feedings.
- Herpetologists divide snakes into two groups based on how they hunt. Ambush predators and active foragers with a wide range. Ambush predators can wait for hours or even days for prey to come within striking distance. Some snakes will make use of both.
- Every snake consumes its prey whole.
- Crown snakes consume venomous centipedes by biting them behind the head in order to avoid being bitten back.
- All snakes can go for extended periods of time without eating. This can be days, weeks, or even months. During the winter, some species will stop eating entirely.
- In order to threaten potential predators, a red-bellied snake will curl its upper lip to reveal its large teeth.
- There are approximately 3,000 snake species, with more being discovered as time goes.
- The Eastern and Western Diamondback rattlesnakes are responsible for the greatest number of deaths in the United States each year.
- The majority of scientific information on snakes comes from the study of garter snakes, which are good models of snakes as a group.
- Black racers are among the fastest snakes, but their top speed is only about 5 miles per hour. (However, striking speed is a different story.)
Snake Geography Facts
- The most common and widespread snake in North America is the garter snake. They can be found on every continent’s mainland, including the United States, Canada, and much of Mexico and Central America.
- Except for Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine, every state has at least one venomous snake.
- Coral snakes are the only venomous snakes found in the United States that are not pit vipers. All other venomous snakes found in the United States are pit vipers (rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths).
- You may be aware that many southeastern snakes emit a foul-smelling musk to ward off predators. Did you know that each species has its own distinct scent? The musk of a garter snake, for example, is sweet-smelling in comparison to the musk of a water snake, which is overpowering.
- Depending on where they are, snakes will either hibernate (or brumate) during the cold months of the year or remain active all year. Snakes in areas with extreme hots and colds will usually go dormant during those times.
- Except for Antarctica, snakes can be found in all climate zones. The European Viper is the only snake species found in Europe north of the Arctic Circle.
Snake Breeding Facts
- Male snakes will engage in combat with other males for a female by raising their heads and intertwining their front bodies. The snake that is forced to the ground is the loser. Snakes rarely bite or injure each other in order to breed.
- Snakes can lay eggs or give birth to live young.
- Most snakes lay eggs in late spring or early summer, with the eggs hatching in late summer or early fall.
- A group of eggs that a snake lays is called a clutch.
- Snake eggs, unlike chicken eggs, are soft and leathery. Baby snakes develop an egg tooth that aids in hatching by cutting through the egg. They eventually lose that tooth during the first shed.
- For copulation and excretion, snakes have a single orifice called a cloaca. They use it to excrete feces and urine, lay eggs (and give birth), and copulate.
In comparison to the vast knowledge we have on other animal genera, our knowledge of snakes is limited. This means there’s still a lot to learn about them.
Most people, especially those who don’t interact with snakes on a regular basis, have a common misconception about them.
The goal of this article is to bridge the gap between fear and knowledge of these creepy, crawly creatures.
What don’t snakes eat?
All snakes, no matter how big or small, are carnivores. This means that snakes will never consume fruits, vegetables, or any other plant.
Do snakes fart?
Snakes do, in fact, fart. As they digest their food, snakes produce internal gasses. They expel these gases through their cloaca, which produces a fart sound (rather loud too).
Do snakes go to sleep?
Snakes sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day.
What are the names of baby snakes?
Snakelets are young snakes. They’re sometimes referred to as hatchlings. In their research, scientists usually refer to baby snakes as neonates.
Do all snakes have teeth?
All snakes have teeth, even the tiniest ones. While all snakes have teeth, not all of them have fangs. Some snake species’ teeth are so small that they will not break through our skin if we are bitten.
Do snakes have the ability to see at night?
Although it is unknown whether snakes have night vision, the vision itself is important when a snake hunts at night.
Snakes use infrared receptors to “see” at night. It allows them to strike prey accurately even when blindfolded.
Do snakes poop?
Snakes, yes, poop.
Are snakes deaf?
Snakes lack external ears, but they can hear through inner ears located near their bottom jaw. They won’t be able to hear sounds in the air, but it will help them detect vibrations as they crawl on the ground.