How Long Do Snakes Live?

D. Gordon E. Robertson/CC-BY-SA 3.0

The average life span of a snake is 10 to 25 years in the wild. Snakes in captivity can live longer. The life span of a snake depends on the species and the size of the snake. Large snakes such as the King Cobra and the python can live 30 to 40 years.

In captivity, snakes have nothing to fear as they are well looked after and do not need to hunt for food. The oldest captive python survived 48 years. The Burmese python appears to live longer in the wild than in captivity. Pythons are large snakes and need ample room to move about freely. The king cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in the Indian subcontinent and has no known predators.

Snakes are reptiles and show cannibalistic tendencies too. They are usually nocturnal creatures and hunt for rats, frogs, birds and even insects. Snakes have a very powerful digestive system and prefer to swallow their prey whole. Venomous snakes wait for the venom to take effect before devouring the prey. Pythons squeeze the prey with powerful muscles. Large snakes such as the python, the anaconda and the boa constrictor usually go for long periods without food.