Belonging to the reptile’s family Snakes are amniotes vertebrates and ectothermic. The facts about snakes we are going to discuss below will definitely surprise you. Before moving to facts let’s have a look at some characteristics of snakes.
What are Snakes?
Snakes are carnivorous that rely on other animals as prey for feeding. They have overlapping scales all over its body. There are almost 3000 species of snakes found in the world.
Snakes are found everywhere except the Antarctica continent. They reside on small land masses and aren’t available in some large islands such as Greenland, Ireland, the Island of New Zealand, etc. However, sea snakes are widely available in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Snakes can be either venomous or nonvenomous. Venomous snakes use venoms as a defense mechanism or to catch their prey. A venomous snake is dangerous enough to take the life of human beings. Nonvenomous snakes swallow their prey or kill them with constriction and subdue their prey. Their lifespan lasts up to 9 years.
Interesting facts about Snakes
1. Taste Sensors
Snakes don’t have taste buds like we human beings. They use their tongue to have a sense of the air. In this way, they can determine their prey in the surrounding and defend from other predators. They need to flick their tongue out to have the taste or scent of the air.
The aura of the environment will deliver to the sensor when its sensory organ goes inside its mouth. The sensor lies on the roof of its mouth. It also flickers its tongue to collect chemicals from the air or ground.
These receptors are known as Jacobson’s organs or vomer nasal. They also can’t have the exact taste of their prey while swallowing as they lack taste buds like us.
2. Snakes stay out of the cold climate
Snakes are known as ectothermic (cold-blooded reptiles). They are born to survive in hot climatic conditions. They can usually resist up to 18 degrees Celcius. During cold seasons, they tend to hibernate.
They cannot get through when grounds remain frozen for years and years. Hence, they are present in the tropical zone. During winter, they shelter their surrounding by burrowing themselves in holes, rocks or logs, garage, basement woodpiles and remain safe.
If they don’t find a proper place to bask in during winter, they will cease to function. They need to draw heat to raise the temperature sufficiently.
3. They don’t bite food
Snakes don’t have the right teeth present for biting o chewing their food. Instead of biting, they swallow their food and digest it. They have flexible jaws that can be as wide as possible to consume their prey.
The jaw can be as large as its natural form. Venomous snakes use their venoms to kill their hunt. They do bite their catch to spread poison in the prey’s body. After killing them, snakes swallow the whole body of their food.
4. They are covered with scales
The scales of snakes come or produce from the epidermis. It is similar to other reptiles. The scale can be of different shapes and sizes depending upon the species of snake. The scale is also known as Snakeskin as a whole.
Scutes that are small in size covers the lateral and dorsum surface. On the other hand, larger ones cover the ventral surface. The scale is for helping them with locomotion. It provides moisture to its skin.
Also, it allows snakes to know the surface characteristics, roughness and also aids in camouflage is necessary for defending purposes. In some cases, scales help snakes to capture their prey.
5. They shed their skin
Snakes are born to cast their dermis according to environmental changes. They do so because their skin may be old or worn out. The process where snakes cast off their skin is known as ecdysis.
Other factors affecting the shedding process can be the temperature of the environment, age, weather, presence of bacteria, nutritional health, etc. It can be beneficial as it helps snakes to get rid of harmful parasites and bacterias.
The process is natural, but it can be painful and stressful to snakes. The shedding process can go for about one to two weeks.
6. Highly venomous snake
The species of Black Mamba is known to be the most venomous snakes in the world. It is also one of the fastest snakes in the world that can move 12mph!. It belongs to the family of Elapidae, having the scientific name Dendroaspis polylepis.
They are present in savannas and rocky hills of eastern and southern Africa. On average, they have a length of 14 feet at max. It also got counted as the world’s deadliest snake of all time. If a black mamba bites a human being, we can see the fatalities within 20 minutes of injection.
7. Rattlesnakes have loud rattles
The rattling sound of rattlesnakes come from its tail. They also belong to the species of venomous snakes. It can be dangerous if it bites human beings or any other living beings. They rattle their tails to warn another organism to get off them or leave their prey.
It is a highly effective warning sign for other predators to stay alert and go back. The rattle doesn’t fall off during the shedding process. The sound comes when hollow segments present in the rattle bang together.
8. Two-headed snakes can rarely be real
The structure of a two-headed snake is also known as bicephally, happens when an embryo tries to split into identical twins but doesn’t separate. In humans as well, it may result in conjoined twins.
It is not a mythical creature but is rarely present in the natural world. These snakes do fight for their food even if they share the same body. These snakes can be venomous as well as non-venomous, depending upon the species.
However, these snakes are known to have a life span of few months only. They may try to attack or even swallow each other while fighting. These are few interesting facts about snakes.
9. Nose is senseless
Snakes do have a nose, but it is only in use for breathing purposes. The nose can’t sense smell. It happens through the flickering of their tongue.
(Last Updated On: February 9, 2021)