Many species of snake are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day and remain awake throughout the night. Snakes evade larger predators and hunt prey of their own during this time.
According to VCA Hospitals, all snakes are carnivores and prefer to eat whole prey items. The specific prey items depend on the snake species and the size of the snake.
Snakes do have bones. Snakes are part of the vertebrate family like most land animals. Snakes have many more bones than humans, and the unique design of their skeleton gives them their shape and flexibility.
Grass snakes do not bite. If cornered, they inflate the body, hiss and strike with the mouth closed. Grass snakes are similar in appearance to the adder, and the two snakes are often confused.
The red-bellied black snake is a member of the Elapidae family and is native to eastern Australia. It's a venomous species that's common in forests, woodlands and swamplands and is often seen near bodies of water. The snake is glossy black on its dorsal side and is crimson, red or pink on the sides and belly. The species may reach more than 6 feet in length.
According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the Burmese python is the sixth largest snake in the world, and it can weigh as much as 100 pounds. The python can grow as much as 15 feet in length, and some may even get as long as 22 feet.
Not all snakes are venomous, but even nonvenomous snakes are subject to strike if they feel frightened or sense danger. In North America, an easy way to determine if a snake is poisonous is to look at its pupils. With the exception of the coral snake, the pupils of poisonous snakes are elliptical or slit-like, much like the eyes of a cat, while the pupils of a non-venomous snake are round.
The northern ringneck snake is a bluish-black snake that grows to approximately 2 feet in length and lives throughout a sizable portion of North America. The morphology of the ringneck snake varies slightly in terms of coloration, with olive and brown varieties living in certain areas.
Missouri is home to five venomous snake species: timber rattlesnakes, massasauga rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. It is important to note that these snakes are correctly called venomous, rather than poisonous. By definition, venom must be injected by fangs or stingers, while poisons are dangerous if they are eaten or absorbed.
Snakes inhabit virtually every area on Earth, with the exception of Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and New Zealand. Snakes vary in size and color, but most live in tropical regions and deserts and survive on land and in water.
Removing sources of food and shelter that snakes seek out is the most certain way to keep them away from a home. Snakes can also be kept out with a perimeter snake fence. Chemical snake repellents are available, but they may contain toxins that can harm pets, other wildlife or even humans if they get into a water supply.
A snake's home is called a nest or a burrow depending on the particular type of snake. A nest represents the home of a snake that lives alone. A den is a home for snakes that live communally.
Adult snakes shed between four and eight times per year. However, their activity level, habitat temperature and feeding frequency and amount affect the frequency of shedding. Additionally, young snakes that are rapidly growing may shed more often.
A Dumeril's boa is a non-venomous boa constrictor species native to Madagascar. The large, ground-dwelling snake grows to about 6.5 feet in length and has a brown, tan and black pattern, with some snakes exhibiting pink or copper coloration.
Snakes are cold-blooded. They become cold if the temperature gets cold. Since snakes cannot maintain their own body temperature, they move to warmer climates to stay warm.
Snakes are carnivores. The specific food they consume depends upon the snakes' size, species and habitat, but their prey includes insects, eggs, mice, fish, frogs and lizards.
Pythons have many predators. Young pythons are subject to predation from birds, wild dogs, hyenas, larger snakes and even insects and spiders. Adult pythons are not immune to risk and may be attacked and eaten by birds of prey, leopards and lions.
Snakes most commonly move by lateral undulation. Bending their bodies from side to side in waves of motion that pass from head to tail, they push off objects and surface irregularities to propel themselves forward. Snakes can also swim using lateral undulation.
The scientific name given to a particular snake is a combination of its genus name followed by its species name, such as the scientific name of the Asp viper, which is Vipera aspis, or the Sonoran Desert sidewinder, which is Crotalus cerastes cercobombus. A king cobra bears the scientific name Ophiophagus hannah, while the desert adder is the Vipera lebetina.
The San Diego Zoo explains that none of the large snakes, including pythons, boas and anacondas, are venomous. Instead, these snakes kill their prey by suffocating it within its muscular coils. This process of asphyxiating their prey is called constriction.
Although the green anaconda is native to the tropics of South America, it's also found in the wild in Florida. This is probably due to the escape or release of pet anacondas, the United States Geological Survey states. You can identify the green anaconda by its location, color, markings and size.
The most certain method of telling if your ball python is male or female is by having an experienced exotic veterinarian perform a cloacal probe or popping test. However, you can also determine the gender of adult snakes by measuring their length and diameter.