Q:

How do snakes give birth?

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Quick Answer

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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How do snakes give birth?
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Full Answer

There are four venomous snakes found in the United States, and the only one that lays eggs is the coral snake. The other three, the copperhead, water moccasin and rattlesnake, have live births. Garter snakes also have live births. The largest snake that is found in the United States, the Burmese python, lays eggs.

The way snakes tend to their young varies from species to species. The coral and racer snakes lay eggs and then leave, so the baby snakes are on their own once they hatch. King Cobras, as well as some varieties of pythons, stay with their eggs. They do this to keep them warm until they hatch. In the case of live births, snakes frequently abandon their young after birth. However, some rattlesnakes stay for a few days to discourage predators. Egg-laying snakes tend to live in warmer climates, while live-birthing snakes live in cooler areas.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many eggs does a garter snake lay?

    A:

    Unlike most other snakes, the garter snake doesn't lay eggs. It gives birth to live young. Over 50 can be born at one time, measuring in length from 5 to 9 inches.

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  • Q:

    What kinds of snakes lay eggs?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    How are snakes born?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What do cobras eat?

    A:

    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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