Over the millions of years, snakes have been slinking around Earth, resisting all the changes and adapting. Belonging to the reptile’s family, Snakes are amniotes vertebrates and ectothermic.
Before moving to facts about snakes, let’s have a look at some introduction and characteristics. The sensor lies on the roof of its mouth. It also flickers its tongue to collect chemicals from the air or ground.
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Snakes are carnivorous that rely on other animals as prey for feeding. There are almost 3000 species of snakes found in the world. It belongs to the family of Elapidae, having the scientific name Dendroaspis polylepis.
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. Nonvenomous snakes swallow their prey or kill them with constriction while a venomous snake is dangerous enough to take the life of human beings. The lifespan of snakes is up to 9 years.
Interesting facts about Snakes
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. The strong acid in their stomach helps them digest their prey.
Let’s get to some amazing 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 surroundings and defend themselves 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.
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 35 degrees Celcius.
During winter, they shelter their surroundings by burrowing themselves in holes, rocks, logs, garage, and basement woodpiles to remain safe.
If they don’t find a proper place to bask during winter, they will cease to function. They need to draw heat to raise the temperature sufficiently.
3. Snakes don’t have eyelids
Instead of eyelids, they have a thin membrane called brille attached to each eye as ocular scale, eyecap, or spectacle. The thin membrane comes out in the shedding process with the skin.
Snakes have poor eyesight, they panic when there is a movement around them. Most snakes are unable to distinguish color. They see no difference in rock, tree, or human.
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 cover 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 if necessary for defending purposes. In some cases, scales help snakes to capture their prey.
5. Not all snakes lay eggs
All the species of snakes do not lay eggs. There are around 70% of snake species, which gives birth to young living ones. Some lay eggs externally, some hatch inside, and some give birth to the young ones.
Some snakes are oviparous; snakes grow their young in eggs that remain in the female body after they hatch and come out. While viviparous snakes give birth to the young ones.
The process of giving birth is one of the unique facts about snakes, as they use various methods.
6. 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 prey bigger than them.
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.
The jaw can be as large as its natural form. Another interesting facts about snakes are they swallow their prey after spreading poison in the body.
7. Snakes have many forms of locomotion.
Snakes do not have legs to move around. They move using their different body parts depending on the surface and the purpose. The locomotion differs based on the contact between the body and the medium through which the snake moves.
There are four types of major movements used by snakes. They are::
- Lateral Undulation- (this method is used by fastest terrestrial snakes)
- Concertina- (used by arboreal and fossorial snakes and requires more energy)
- Rectilinear Locomotion- (common in boas, pythons, and stocky vipers)
- Sidewinding- (Saharan horned viper, the Mojave sidewinder rattlesnake)
8. 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 environment’s temperature, age, weather, presence of bacteria, nutritional health, etc.
The shedding process can be beneficial as it helps snakes to get rid of harmful parasites and bacterias. The process is painful and stressful to snakes, which takes about one to two weeks to complete.
The shedding process is nature’s call of snake, and this can also be considered one of the amazing facts about snakes.
9. Highly venomous snake
The species of Black Mamba is known to be the most venomous snake in the world. It is also one of the fastest snakes in the world that can move 12mph!
They are present in savannas and rocky hills of eastern and southern Africa. It also got counted as the world’s deadliest snake of all time, having 14 feet at max.
If a black mamba bites a human being, we can see the fatalities within 20 minutes of injection. The venom and the speed of the black mamba can be considered one of the frightening facts about snakes.
10. Rattlesnakes have loud rattles
The rattling sound of rattlesnakes comes 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.
11. Two-headed snakes can rarely be real
The structure of a two-headed snake, 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 fight for their food even if they share the same body and can be venomous and non-venomous, depending on 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 facts about snakes with two heads are interesting.
12. 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.
They capture the sense of vibrations by using a bone called a quadrate attache to the jaw. Snakes can’t hear sounds like us.
13. Snake’s predators
Some of the snake species feed only on snakes. Besides their species, birds, raccoons, foxes, and wild bores are some common snake predators.
Peacocks are also known for chasing snakes and preying on them. Some interesting facts about peacocks can blow your mind.
If you want to keep snakes away, the urine of a fox acts as a repellent. Guinea hens, turkeys, and cats are also capable of chasing snakes away.
Concluding, there are many species and types of snakes with different locomotion and reproduction processes. Their skin shading process to the aerial movement, there are many facts about snakes we do not know.
Snakes are shy and secretive and are considered non-aggressive. They panic when they sense some movement and only stride to eat or defend. Every year almost 400,000 pythons are massacred for the expensive fashion accessories in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.