Snakes have caused fear in humans for centuries. However, this fear is most built upon wrong and unfair prejudices. Also, most things that you are being told about snakes are not true at all. Here are some facts about snakes you thought to be true that aren’t and some true and cool facts for you to learn:
An angry snake will chase you.
This is as far from the truth as it could be. No snake has the desire to bite you when annoyed. They generally want to be left alone and flee whenever possible. If a snake acts angry it is to warn you that it is going to bite if you keep provoking it. If you step away from it, it will always look for a way to escape and avoid confrontation. When a cobra spreads it hood, it is because it feels threatened and does not want to waste its precious venom on a bite, so it warns you. Same goes for rattlesnakes.
Snakes dislocate their jaws to swallow prey.
This is not entirely wrong. Snakes have two individual lower jawbones that are not connected in the middle like ours. This feature enables them to open their jaws much wider. Also, snakes always swallow headfirst to avoid the limbs of their prey getting in their way.
Pythons can hypnotize their prey.
This common belief is due to the snakes unblinking stare. Snakes do not have eyelids, instead a transparent scale protects their eye from dirt. To sleep, snakes make their pupils very small to avoid sunlight but they cannot close their eyes.
Snakes cannot strike underwater.
This is not true at all; some snakes even hunt underwater. Additionally, all snakes can swim, some can even dive for impressive time spans.
Snakes can sting with their tails.
This disbelief comes from the observation that some snakes have very spiky scales on their tail. These have nothing to do with stinging an attacker though, sometimes they are used to stimulating the partner during mating.
Baby venomous snakes are more dangerous than adults.
This is only half false; Baby venomous snakes have not yet learned to control how much venom they inject into their victim. Snakes are very reluctant to waste their precious venom on you, which is why they usually only inject a small amount. Babies have not yet learned to control this and usually inject their full load, which is why they may seem more dangerous.
There is no such thing as a mother snake,
Although maternal behavior is rare, many rattlesnakes and viper species have been observed protecting their young until their first shed and meal. Some may even hide and protect them under their own bodies or recover a lost baby. The King Cobra however is the only snake that will build a nest and protect its eggs right until they hatch and shed.
Cool facts about snakes
Did you believe in these false myths above? If you did, don’t worry, now you know the truth. Remember to no believe everything you hear about these creatures. Now here are some cool facts about snakes that are actually true and fascinating. There are almost 300 species of snakes and some are truly special:
- King Cobras are highly intelligent. They remember people and threat them according to their experiences with them. So, if you annoy a King Cobra, it will remember that and stay away from you.
- Many snakes can play dead. When there is no more way to escape, many snakes will stop moving and secrete an intense smell to simulate death.
- Some keelback snakes (Rhabdophis) prey on frogs and absorb the poison from the frog’s skin. They can then store it in a gland behind their neck and use it as a defense.
- The most massive snakes are anacondas (Eunectes Murinus), however, the longest snakes on earth are reticulated pythons (Malayopython Reticulatus). They can reach up to eight meters in length.
- Snakes smell with their tongue, which is why it is split. The pick up chemicals in the air with and then retract it into the Jacobs organ, from where the information is sent to the brain. Since the tongue I split, they can determine where from a scent is coming.
- Almost all pythons and all pit vipers (Crotalidae) Have heat vision. Small membranes inside holes close to their nose can pick up differences in heat with up to 0.03° Celsius accuracy, which enables them to see their prey clearly, even at night.
So how much did you know? I hope you have learned something new. Remember that snakes are not evil animals, but truly fascinating and peaceful creatures that deserve our help and protection. No snake wants to harm you in any way as long as you respect it!
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