Q:

Can snakes see?

A:

Quick Answer

Most snakes can see, but different species of snakes see in different levels of detail. Some snakes even have a second form of sight using specially evolved receptors to detect heat.

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Full Answer

Most underground snakes have poor vision, usually just enough to tell the difference between light and dark. If a snake primarily lives on the surface, its vision is usually sharp, and it has excellent depth perception. Some snakes have evolved pit organs, which see heat in the same way as infrared goggles do. If a snake has these organs, it can use either its eyes or the pit organs at any time, and it can use both at the same time.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many species of snakes are there?

    A:

    There are 3,458 known species of snakes as of February 2014, according to The Reptile Database. This number changes periodically as new snakes are observed and some groups are reclassified.

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  • Q:

    Why do snakes eat themselves?

    A:

    Snakes of the species which prey on other snakes may bite their own tail if they are kept in too small of an enclosure. In these cases, the snake confuses its tail for a separate individual. Snakes may also confuse their tail for prey if they are stressed or overheated.

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  • Q:

    Are king snakes poisonous?

    A:

    Kingsnakes, of which there are several species, are not venomous, and as a group they actually prey upon venomous snakes. Some species of king snakes do resemble venomous snakes, but kingsnakes kill their prey using constriction, not venom.

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  • Q:

    How many snakes are there in the world?

    A:

    With more than 3,400 different species of snakes throughout the world, it is impossible to know exactly how many snakes there are in the world. Of that, about 600 of them are venomous.

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