Q:

How are snakes born?

A:

Quick Answer

Most snakes hatch from eggs outside of the mother. While a small number of snake species give birth to live snakes rather than laying eggs, all snake eggs are internally fertilized when snakes mate. After mating, some snakes lay their eggs immediately, while others carry the eggs around, laying them only when it is time for the eggs to hatch.

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How are snakes born?
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Full Answer

Most snake species abandon their eggs before they hatch, leaving the offspring to protect themselves after birth. Snakes hatch fully formed but smaller than adult snakes, and they are very vulnerable to predators. There is a high mortality rate for young snakes. Some species, such as the cobra and python, build and maintain nests for their eggs, providing heat and protection for the developing snakes both before and after hatching.

A small number of snake species, such as the boa constrictor and green anaconda, give live birth rather than laying eggs. These and other species that give birth to live offspring often live in colder or more hostile environments, necessitating the protective warmth of a parent to ensure a successful development and birth.

Snakes that lay eggs are called oviparous, while snake species that reproduce through live birth are called viviparous.

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Related Questions

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    What is the life cycle of a snake?

    A:

    Seventy percent of snakes begin their lives growing inside of eggs, while the other 30 percent are born live. Some mothers leave, while others stay with their eggs until they hatch. This process is called brooding.

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    How do snakes give birth?

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    Approximately 70 percent of snakes lay eggs, and the remainder have live births. However, live birth of a snake is not the same as in other animals. Snakes that have live births hold the eggs inside the body, and when they hatch, they are pushed out of the snake into the world.

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    What kinds of snakes lay eggs?

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    Some examples of oviparous snakes, or snakes that lay eggs, are king snakes, pine snakes, milk snakes and pythons. Oviparous snakes are typically found in warm climates where the higher temperatures assist in the incubation period. Viviparous snakes, or snakes that give birth to live young instead of laying eggs, usually live in colder climates and higher elevations.

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    What do cobras eat?

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    Cobras are carnivorous snakes and feed on other snakes, lizards, small mammals, birds and bird eggs. A cobra can eat almost any type of snake, including other venomous snakes. Cobras survive well on land, in the trees, and in the water, considering any small animal its prey.

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