All About Snakes...
General Snake Facts
Snakes are classified as vertebrates since their flexible bodies have far more vertebrates (up to 400) than humans (just 32). This allows snakes to have far greater elasticity, which they use to devour large animals many times their width.
Snake’s eyes are protected by clear scales, which are needed since their eyes always remain open. Additional features of a snake are it’s forked tongue, and lack of external ears.
Snakes mate in the spring as the weather warms; however, snakes in warmer climates can reproduce year-round.
Depending on the species, female snakes will either have live young, keeping the eggs inside of her body until they hatch, or she will deposit the eggs in a nest she has constructed and sit on top of them, protecting them until they hatch.
There are about 250 species of snakes in the United States and Canada. Only two groups are venomous - the coral snake and the pit vipers.
The pit vipers include the cottonmouth/water moccasin, copperhead, and rattlesnake. There are three ways to distinguish between a pit viper and a nonpoisonous snake in the United States:
- Pit Vipers have a deep pit on each side of the head, midway between the eye and nostril. This does not exist on nonpoisonous snakes.
- Poisonous snakes have a scale pattern on the under side that goes all the way across the width of the tail in a row. Nonpoisonous snakes have a more broken pattern.
- The pupil of the viper is egg shaped. A nonpoisonous snake has an eye shape that is round.
Most snakes will eat a variety of foods including insects, rodents, birds, slugs, and other reptiles such as frogs and lizards.
Other - Predators of Snakes
Its reptilian enemies include larger snakes and crocodiles. Although birds are part of snakes' diet, larger birds put snakes on their own menu. Other meat-eating animals will also prey on snakes.
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