Snakes are often used as symbols for betrayal, misfortune and danger. They are usually associated with evil because of biblical references. However, stories aside there are hundreds of lovable facts about snakes which are not widely known. So, we have decided to give them a little bit of appreciation for the upcoming celebration of World Snake Day on July 16. Here are ten marvelous facts about snakes.
Tongues for Smelling
This might just be the most common fact about snakes but if you don’t know this then you’re in for a treat. Snakes don’t have noses, they have nostrils but they don’t really use it for smelling. Snakes use their fork-shaped tongues to smell their surroundings. As you are very familiar with, snakes often stick their tongue out, research says that the smell travels from their tongue to an organ located at the roof of their mouths called Jacobson’s or vomeronasal organ.
Some Snakes can breathe and Swim Underwater
This is only true for some snakes. Some snakes like sea snakes can breathe through their skin, this feature allows them to dive deep waters however, since they do not have gills they still periodically come up the surface for some air.
Bees can be deadlier than snakes
Unlike snakes, bees are depicted as cute and lovable with several pop culture references portrayed in the media and movies like The Bee Movie. Bees are even used as mascots for a few restaurant chains but studies show that these adorable bees can kill more people in a year compared to snakes.
It is a well known fact that snakes often eat their prey whole with very flexible jaws that can stretch wide and allow them to consume food 75% to 100% bigger than their size. However, unlike popular belief, snakes don’t often get hungry because they have very slow metabolism allowing them to got for days and even weeks without eating.
Snakes are not aggressive at all, they are naturally shy and prefer to be left alone. They don’t often come in groups and only attack when provoked or afraid.
Snakes are solitary and are often alone, they do not travel in family groups and are not territorial. They go where there is a steady source of food and water.
Not all snakes are venomous
Snakes are well known for fangs and venom but not all snakes are venomous. Some snakes kill their prey by constricting them or suffocating them, snakes wrap their long bodies around their prey and crush their bones while make them unable to breath. These snakes are constrictors and are not venomous, they still bite but the bites will not kill you.
They help us with vermin
Snakes usually feed on small animals like rats or mice. With snakes, the human population gets to live with less vermin running around.
Snakes are built different, they can’t hear because they don’t have external ears but they have inner ears which is only used for balance. So you can scream all you want and the snake will not flinch, but snakes can sense vibrations using their jaws and as they slither on the ground they use their jaws to navigate or follow their prey.
Snakes cannot see clearly, they can see because they have eyes but they can’t see in color and their eyesight is very blurry. They can easily see movement which easily scares them but if you come face to face with a snake and you don’t move an inch, it cannot differentiate you from the surrounding trees.
Snakes as Pets
Snakes are fascinating creatures and children can learn a lot from these predators however, keeping a snake as a pet is not an easy task. Snakes need terrariums adapted to their lifestyle and natural habitat. Some snakes can grow very big, which is a fact that needs to be accounted for when choosing a terrarium and most importantly, be really really really careful with poisonous snakes! All “snake amateurs” should always choose non-venomous snakes.
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