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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Check Out These Ssseriously Cool Snake Facts

These interesting snake facts are for reptile lovers.

Do you love reading about reptiles? Then you would love to read about one of the most popular reptiles, Snakes or Serpentes. Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles that have long slender bodies, and no limbs. Having more than 3000 species, scientists believe more snakes are yet to be discovered. These reptiles are found all over the world in every continent except Antarctica or the Arctic regions with an extremely low temperature. They carnivorous predators which eat or prey on smaller animals in general, like rodents, frogs, rabbits, and more. Unlike most reptiles, they lack eyelids which are believed to have evolved due to their burrowing nature. Lots of venomous species are found in North, central and south America, along with Africa. Several snake species are found in the Indian ocean. These creatures shed their skin every year and smell their food or surrounding air with their tongues. They don't really eat their food but swallow as a whole and digest within. Some common snakes are the Corn snake, Eastern Rat snake, Coral snake, Hognose snake, King snake, Copperhead snake, White snake, Black rat snake, Gopher snake, Indigo snake, Green snake, Tiger snake, Cobra, and Python. To know more about these beautiful ancient reptiles, keep reading ahead.

If you liked what you read and want to know more about various reptiles, please read these similar on green anaconda and python.

Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Snake?

Snakes are a kind of predatory limbless reptile of the Serpentes suborder with over 3000 species in existence.

What class of animal does a Snake belong to?

Snakes belong to the reptilian class of the Squamata order.

How many Snakes are there in the world?

There are more than 3000 species and subspecies of snakes, out of which 62% are unassessed so it is next to impossible to know their exact population. Growing industries, declining forests, and excessive hunting are some of the causes for the decline in their numbers.

Where does a Snake live?

Snakes live around the world on every continent except Antarctica. Snakes are cold-blooded like all reptiles and can survive any climate but cannot live in extremely cold environments. Thus, you cannot find them in any country like Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Greenland, and any place near the arctic and Antarctic circle. Otherwise, they can live in any small dark place like holes or burrows.

What is a Snake's habitat?

It is difficult to narrow down the snake habitat as they are adaptable to almost all kinds of environments except for extreme colder climates. Most snakes live in hot dry climates like deserts but there's a large number of species found underwater in aquatic bodies like ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Certain species like the Boa are arboreal (animals who live on trees). Lots of common species are bred indoors and kept as house pets these days.

Who do Snakes live with?

Snakes, like most reptiles, prefer living in solitary and only meet during mating season. In some species, they also meet during winter to hibernate to keep themselves warm from the lower temperature.

How long does a Snake live?

Most snakes have an average lifespan of 15-25 years but certain smaller species live only up to 5-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Most snakes mate during spring but depending on the species, the mating season can extend throughout summer till fall. Most male snakes have a pair of hemipenis which act like testis. During copulation, these organs extend and release the sperm into the female. But, the female can control her pregnancy after mating. In some species, female snakes are ovoviviparous and can give birth to their young through eggs hatching internally in the mother's body without physically laying the eggs.

What is their conservation status?

Most of the snakes are heavily understudied. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 64% of snakes are listed as Least Concern, around 8% are Vulnerable or Endangered, 2% are Critically Endangered and 1% are already Extinct. About 19% of the species are listed as Data Deficient which means their status is unknown and undiscovered.

Snake Fun Facts

What do Snakes look like?

Snakes are cold-blooded creatures with a thin, long, flexible body covered with scales or scutes throughout their body which is known as snake skin. These scales help snakes to move without any limbs while providing protection from slithering on any rough surface, and camouflage because of their various coloration and patterns. They don't have eyelids but they do have extremely flexible jaws which can open quite wide which allows them to swallow a large prey whole. In venomous snakes, there are two grooved or hollow needle-like teeth, called fangs to inject the venom. They also have a fork-shaped sensitive tongue which helps them detect their prey or their surroundings through smell.  Non-venomous snakes have six rows of teeth on either side of their upper and lower jaws.

Reading interesting snake facts could be a great hobby.

How cute are they?

Some people find snakes quite cute and keep them as exotic pets. However, snakes are predatory animals and wild snakes cannot be tamed or domesticated. Snakes are considered quite majestic due to their unique personalities and beautiful colors and patterns on their bodies with external scales covering the whole body. Snakes do hunt but not very frequently, so they are not necessarily aggressive unless they feel threatened otherwise. They shed their beautiful skin externally once a year which is often used in the leather industry.

How do they communicate?

Snakes majorly communicate through chemical signals using pheromones which are tracked by the vomeronasal organ. This provides them information about each other's vitals like age, sex, and more. They also use their body parts like their tail or head to scare away potential predators.

How big is a Snake?

Snakes come in a large variety of sizes and their length and weight depend on the species. They generally are between 39.4-354 in (1-9 m) long and can weigh between 55-250 lb (25-113 kg) with the exception of Thread snake which is the smallest species, and grows only about 3.9 in (10 cm) long. The longest species is the reticulated Python which can grow about 30 ft or 9 m long. Even though snakes are believed to have evolved from lizards, they are much bigger than them.

How fast can a Snake move?

The average speed of most snakes is set at 8 mph (12 kph). Some snakes, like Vipers and the Black Mamba, push on both sides and can move at a speed of 19 mph or 30 kph approximately.

How much does a Snake weigh?

The most common snakes weigh about 55-77 lb (25-35 kg) but the larger snakes can weigh massively between 88-250 lb (40-113 kg). The largest and heaviest snake species are the Green Anacondas fascinatingly weighing 500 lb (227 kg) and being 27.7 ft (8.4 m) in length.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Snakes do not have any distinct names for their male and female species.  

What would you call a baby Snake?

A baby snake is called a snakelet. A baby which has just hatched from its egg is called a hatchling and the babies hatching inside are called neonates.

What do they eat?

A snake diet depends on the type of species, and their choice of prey vary. They are carnivore predators and hunt for their food. Their double-jointed jaws allow them to fully swallow prey much bigger than their head. Some species like to ambush their target quietly and other species wrap their body around the prey till they squeeze them to death or make them unconscious before swallowing them whole. Most species, though, prefer to eat rats, rabbits, eggs, frogs, other smaller reptiles, or just about any animal which can fit in their mouth. Smaller snakes eat insects and fishes as well.

Are they dangerous?

Snakes, in general, aren't very dangerous and are quite harmless in nature. These animals might be predators and eat or prey on any animal which can fit their mouths; some have a deadly venom, lethal enough to kill instantly. However, they are not aggressive unless threatened. They mostly use their venom for defense and not for attacking. That said, they are the most dangerous venomous creatures for humans. Almost 2 million people get treated for snake bites every year and a large number have died due to this. This has to lead to an irrational fear in humans. Most people will kill the snake if spotted even if didn't pose any real threat to them.

Would they make a good pet?

With changing times, snakes have become a popular choice as exotic pets for enthusiasts. They can be great companion pets if they have been bred indoors and have lived a captive life. Snakes don't have any emotional intellect to identify affections or any emotions whatsoever neither can they reciprocate. Having snakes as pets is expensive but not highly demanding physically as they don't require regular walks or grooming. They do shed their skin once every year, so cleaning that could be a hassle. They don't have extraordinary food or diet requirements, but they do need a healthy protein-rich but balanced diet to keep them healthy. They are very adaptive and can survive various surroundings except for in the colder temperature. Since they are cold-blooded, they need warm spots to regulate their body temperature. Having snakes as pets might sound fascinating but it is advised otherwise as they are not made to live with humans.

Did you know...

The male Garter snake fight for the right mate with female snakes.

More than 100,000 people die due to venomous snake bites, every year.

Snakes have taste sensors on their tongues, instead of taste buds which help smell the air, by flicking their tongue out to pick up a scent.

Most snakes brumate i.e. they become inactive during colder months to regulate their body temperature.

Snakes lack eyelids and technically cannot sleep.

An extinct species of snakes, Titanoboa, would reach terrifying lengths of 42 ft (12 m).

Rattlesnakes have an interesting tail that rattles and generates a sound mainly to scare predators away.

Most snakes lay eggs in clutches and two young can hatch from a single egg. Females mostly lay eggs underground in loose soil which acts as a natural incubator and keeps them warm.

How to tell if a snake is poisonous?

It is possible to differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes through their pupils. Poisonous snakes tend to have slit-like elliptical eyes like cats instead of round pupils like the non-poisonous species. Also, non-venomous snakes have a sloppy jaw due to the absence of venom sacs and have rows of teeth but no fangs. Snake scales and patterns in certain species can help to determine if it is venomous or not.

What is the most venomous snake in the world?

The western or inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) is known to be the most poisonous or venomous snake in the world. One inland Taipan snake bite can paralyze muscles, inhibit breathing while causing hemorrhage in blood vessels and tissues. But due to their aggressive personality and lethal venom, Black Mambas are still considered to be the deadliest snakes in the world.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including King cobra, or Rattlesnake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our angry snake coloring pages.

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