Snakes use a variety of techniques and adaptations to defend themselves, including camouflage or fleeing from predators, as well as bluffing, biting and envenoming animals that threaten them. Most snakes seek to remain undetected by threatening animals and flee upon detection. However, snakes that are unable to escape may engage in a variety of defensive displays or deliver possible life-threatening bites.Continue Reading
The world holds nearly 3,500 snake species and each displays a unique combination of defensive mechanisms and survival strategies. Most rely on camouflage as a first line of defense. Some snakes, such as copperheads of the United States and gaboon vipers of Africa camouflage so well that they are virtually invisible among the leaf litter of the forest. Others are green to match the vegetation in which they reside. Still others live underground most of their lives, usually attaining dark, earth-tone colored scales.
Some snakes are equipped with great speed that they use to escape their enemies. Many of these species are colored black so they can achieve elevated body temperatures that help these ectothermic animals to crawl their fastest. Other snakes do not attempt to flee, instead relying on bluffs and bites to protect themselves.
Many venomous snakes, such as cobras and rattlesnakes, have bold behaviors that warn potential predators of their dangerous bite. However, many harmless snakes mimic such behaviors to protect themselves, even though their bite is not venomous.Learn more about Snakes
Rattlesnake adaptations include the ability to sense faint vibrations caused by prey, an extremely sensitive sense of smell, teeth that prevent prey from escaping, and a tail that rattles and scare away intruders. Rattlesnakes have highly developed heat sensors near their mouths, and their eyes are adapted for vision in dim light.Full Answer >
The rainforest supports a wide variety of animals with many adaptations that enable them to survive in their habitat, including the long beak of the toucan. This adaptation allows the bird to reach fruit from the limbs of trees that cannot support its weight. Other adaptations of rainforest animals camouflage them.Full Answer >
Sharks interact with a variety of different animals in their habitat, as they are predators, prey and hosts for a variety of other species. While some sharks reach large sizes and as adults are apex predators that fear no predators themselves, the majority of the world’s 400 living species of sharks are relatively small and thus serve as prey to other species.Full Answer >
There are many adaptations that make the king cobra a fierce predator, including deadly venom and excellent eyesight. They are also both highly mobile and excellent swimmers, while their hoods are very useful for warning away would-be predators.Full Answer >