Ball Python Enclosures – How to choose and set up you Pet Snake Cage

Because of their timid and relaxed nature, Ball Pythons are definitely among the best starter pet snakes out there. In fact, everybody who is enthousiastic about snakes loves these extremely strong and fascinating, but also gentle animals. But nevertheless, Ball Pythons are exotic pets and need to be respected as such. All pet snakes require an appropriate environment similar to their natural habitat to ensure that they live happily.

In this article I want to address what type or size of enclosures ball pythons require and should be housed in. There are many options out there and one will certainly also be right for you. It is another chapter on how to take care of ball pythons. The cage or terrarium you chose is very important and there are many options out there, so let’s find the best one for you.

Natural setups are much more attractive and beneficial for your pet ball pythons

Should I house my ball python in a natural or sterile environment?

Snakes are generally not very picky when it comes to what their cage looks like. As long as it will have food, water and live in a secure environment without too many stress factors, your snake will be happy. However, I believe as responsible pet owner, we should offer out pet snake an environment as close to a natural experience as possible. So, while you snake certainly wouldn’t mind being housed on kitchen paper, I still believe you should offer it a diverse environment to make sure it thrives. It can also look very attractive and add a great touch to us as keepers (image below).

Of course, if you are a breeder or do not have the resources to keep your snakes in a natural exhibit, it is just fine to keep your cage simple. For quarantine purposes, it is best to have a setup that is as simple as possible.

Appropriate ball python cage size – 1.5m * 1m * 0.75m – synthetic material

What type of cage should I choose?

In terms of material, the best choice is an isolating and long-lasting synthetic material. However, such tanks are often hard to find or overly expensive. All materials have advantages or disadvantages. Another great option is a glass terrarium, since it look really nice and not very hard to get or expensive. The downside is that it is not very isolating and it may be hard to create a warm enough environment inside. The third great option would be wood. Most wood is a great isolation and usually also very cheap. Just make sure that it is impregnated with a non – toxic substance. The only downside is, that it is not a very long – lasting option in most cases since it is vulnerable to high humidity and head.

Make sure that your cage has good enough airflow and holes to avoid bad air, but not enough to dry out or cool down the environment inside.

If you have the skill set, a self made cage is always the best and nicest option since you can control every aspect of it and can design it fitting to your circumstances.


How large should my ball python cage be?

This largely depends on the laws that are active in your area. Check if there are any requirements that must be fulfilled for pet snakes or similar pets. If not, I suggest you chose a tank that is roughly 1.25 * 0.75 * 0.5 times the length of your animal (length * width * height). This means that if your animal is 1m in length, your tank should measure at least 1.25m * 0.75m * 0.5m. This should be fine for no more than 2 individuals living inside (Add 0.5m * 0.25m * 0.25m for every additional individual). These dimensions will make it possible for your animal to investigate its surroundings during dawn and nighttime, when it is most active. To avoid buying multiple cages, buy a cage that will last until the animal is fully grown, so calculate with and average length on 120cm for ball pythons. This will save you a lot of money.


What does my snake NEED?

Snakes have very simplistic desires. They want to eat, sleep, reproduce and be left alone – that’s what you hear from most people. However, I believe that these animals are much more intelligent than they are given credit for. But since this is only about what they need, here it is. You should AT LEAST have some kind of moist resting or hiding box for your animal. I recommend filling your hiding box partly with sphagnum moss. This moss can be renewed every couple of day to ensure your python has a moist resting place during the day. (Click HERE to get more info on Humidity Control for Ball pythons). You also definitely need a bowl of water that is large enough for your python to submerge in, should it feel the need.

Please still remember that your pet python is an animal, a living being. You should offer it some space to explore and be curious at least once in a while and make sure that you provide it with a nice and natural habitat. The above-mentioned requirements are simplistic and to not provide a natural experience.


In a natural cage setup, feeding your snake directly inside the cage is easy and interesting

What should I add into my cage to create a natural setup?

As mentioned above, I believe that you should offer your pet snake an environment that provides an experience close to nature. In terms of cage setup, this means that you should add some branches, leaves or even some moss-covered stones. In a large enough cage, this will give you the opportunity to creatively set up our snakes’ home. Avoid buying branches at pet stores, since they are often overly expensive and full of pesticides. Instead, collect branches and stones or leaves directly from a nearby forest, wash them off under warm water and place them inside your cage. If you like working with plants, feel free to plant some nice flowers or farns inside you enclosure. They will look gorgeous and add some natural humidity. If you don’t, just use plastic plants of flower to decorate your setup. Although your snake doesn’t care, it will look much more attractive to you.

You can get a natural environment by adding moss, branches, flowers and a good substrate

Don’t worry too much about some small insects or worm getting inside your terrarium from outside. In almost all cases and if you don’t live in central Africa, these creatures will not be able to do any damage to your snake whatsoever since they are from different ecosystems. I generally suggest not keeping you snake too sterile, since they would lose all their immune system sensitivity and get infected much quicker.


Beatiful natural setup for green mambas (dendroaspis viridis) using branches and artificial plants or flowers (by Roger Aeberhard)

What substrate should I use?

If your animal is in a quarantine state or you if keep many snakes in your collection and need to clean efficiently, it is easy to keep them on normal kitchen paper. However, I suggest offering your animal a natural environment, which includes some natural substrate. In my opinion, the best choice is a mix of Cyprus and chipped wood or wood shavings. This will provide a comfortable bedding for your pet snake, while adding a bit of natural humidity to your cage. Cyprus can be sprayed with water every couple of days and acts as a wonderful humidity storage. However, please check where your Cyprus wood is from since many companies take part in massive rain forest devastation to get to this type of wood.

Avoid keeping your snake purely on sand since it could clot its mouth or nasal regions. You should add at least 5 – 10 cm of bedding in your cage to store humidity and provide a comfortable housing for your pet.

In conclusion, the best type of habitat for your pet snake is the one designed by yourself in a natural and attractive way that offers your animal some space to be curious and enjoy nature. These animals will investigate and often explore if given the space; I personally have a python that is highly active every night and looking to explore his surroundings, even outside his cage, for which I gladly offer him the opportunity. A natural setup is not just beneficial for the health of your python, but also much more attractive to you as a keeper.
If you do not yet have a cage or enclosure for your ball pythons, you should definetely go check out the great sortiment in the Amazon Reptile housing section They have a large variety of cages and tanks ready at all time for you to order.

If you are interested in my sources, click HERE!

If you are interested in more information on ball pythons, make sure you check out my other articles or get some literature on the topic. Check out the awesome book by Stefan Broghammer on ball pythons, one of the best books for beginner and advanced keepers. (just click on the image or here; amazon.com, amazon.de)

Click on the image to get a copy of this great book on Ball Pythons for beginners and advanced

How to care for Ball Pythons – Feeding


Welcome to another article on the topic “how to care for ball pythons”. In this article, I want to address the very important aspect of feeding your ball python and common issues you are probably going to encounter. Ball pythons can be tricky feeders if you are new to keeping snakes but there are many tricks that will make it a lot easier. I also want to get into feeding baby ball pythons that are somewhat stubborn or unwilling to eat on their own.

Ball Pythons make wonderful pets – as long as they are well cared for

What should I feed my pet ball python with and how often should I feed it?

In the wild, ball pythons prey primarily on rats, mice, rabbits and other small local rodents. This means that in captivity, they will usually readily accept either frozen-thawed or live mice and rats as they grow. Frozen-thawed mice or rats can be purchased at your local pet shop while live prey may be harder to get. Pythons are opportunistic feeders which means that they will eat almost every time they get the chance. In the wild however, they usually only catch one animal every one or two weeks, which should also be the feeding interval in captivity. In the wild, pythons can go many weeks without food, so don’t stress out if you miss a day or two. Keep in mind that feeding live prey may be prohibited in you state or country, so please do your research first.

Ball Python feeding on frozen-thawed rat

Should I feed live or frozen-thawed prey?

This is entirely up to you; there are advantages and disadvantages to both techniques. Feeding only frozen-thawed prey is certainly cheaper in the long run but it has a higher risk of not getting your baby python to eat since they often do only accept live prey. Most pythons will readily accept dead prey from the beginning on, but some baby ball pythons can be very stubborn and accept only live prey. It is certainly possible to get every animal to eat frozen-thawed prey, but it could take a while and a lot of effort. However, in most cases it is absolutely worth the effort. In the long run, you will not have to deal with keeping live prey around will save a lot of money. Additionally, you will not have the in my opinion disgusting smell of keeping live rodents in your snake room. They require much more care than your python and need to be fed and cleaned every day. In my experience, they also tend to completely mess up their cages all the time. I personally love all animals and don’t want to witness any suffering every time I feed my snakes. However, if you feel that this is the more natural way of feeding you pet, go for it.


How should I present the prey to my snake?

I certainly recommend using some kind of grabbing tool such as snake tongs or tweezers to feed your pet. It will put your hand in a safe distance from the python’s strike in case it misses its target.

If you are feeding live prey, I also recommend presenting the prey animal head first to your snake. This way, the prey is killed much faster and your snake will not be in any danger from the resisting prey bites or scratches. You should never just let a live prey animal loose inside the snakes’ cage. It will mess up the entire setup and poop all over the place. Rodent and their sharp teeth can also present a danger to your snakes’ skin and should the snake miss its prey, it is really hard to catch a stressed out rodent.

Presenting the prey: head first, with tweezers, directly inside the cage

As for pre-killed prey, I also suggest using tongs for security. Present the rodent as you like but keep in mind that snakes swallow prey only head first. My preferred method is also head first since the snake can then just swallow it directly without having to try multiple times until it finds the head of the animal.


My snake ate some substrate with its prey… should i be worried?

No, absolutely not! Remember that snakes are wild animals and in nature, they are not going to encounter a sterile mouse or hunt in a clean feeding tub. If snakes were harmed by every bit of dirt getting into their mouth, they’d have a hard time surviving out in the wild. So don’t worry, it is completely fine if your snake eats a little substrate. It will most likely spit it out after swallowing the mouse or its stomach acid will dissolve the bit of dirt easily.

How should I prepare the prey and snake before feeding?

Here I suggest you first think about where you want to feed your animal. You can either feed directly inside the cage or in a separate feeding tub. I prefer feeding directly in the cage to avoid stressing out the animal while relocating it. If you have two individuals I recommend feeding them on different days. Remove the one that is not to be fed and place it back inside after feeding. If you do not want to feed on separate days, remove the calmer individual and feed it inside a separate feeding tub. Ideally, you should be able to close the separate feeding tub while the animal is eating. This way you do not have to watch it and it will not stress out or potentially avoid the prey. Of course, if you cage is for some reason not an option, using a separate feeding tub should not provide any problems in most cases.

Prepared frozen-thawed and pre-heated mouse for feeding. Grab with tweezers!

As for the prey, if you feed live, place the rodent in a smaller cage nearby to make catching it easier before you present it to your python. Avoid letting the rodent run loose inside the snakes cage (see above why). If you feed frozen-thawed prey, I recommend you thaw it out in lukewarm water of under a heat lamp. Right before you present the prey, heat it up under really hot water to simulate body temperature of the rodent. Since pythons have heat pits to detect infrared radiation, it must be tricked into thinking that the rodent is alive. Some animal accepts dead prey without constricting it naturally, but most want to hunt and therefore must be tricked.


What should I do if my baby ball python refuses to eat?

Although most individuals will readily accept both frozen-thawed or live food, occasionally you come across a particularly stubborn baby that refuses to eat at all. Note that if your animal has eaten regularly before but has stopped for a while, that is perfectly normal. Most individuals will go off food for a prolonged period when during shed. Just wait out until your animal has shed and try again. Most males take a break of feeding of about 4-6 months when they reach sexual maturity or sometimes just for a prolonged period during winter. Females will go off food during pregnancy and for some time after laying eggs, so don’t worry too much if your python has not eaten in a while.

But let’s say you have a particularly stubborn baby ball python that refuses to eat at all. One simple trick is to leave the animal in a smaller container with a frozen-thawed mouse. Sometimes the baby is just to stressed out in the presence of a human, so give it some time. Never leave it with a live mouse though, your baby could get seriously injured. If you have live mice or rodents in your household rubbing the prey animal in the substrate of the rodents may help to intensify the scent and trigger a feeding response.

Appropriate ball python cage size – 1.5m * 1m * 0.75m – synthetic material

My snake still won’t eat…

If none of these tricks works and your python has not eaten in some weeks, you should consider feeding life. Some individuals just do not accept dead prey and the health of your pet should be your primary concern. If even that does not work, you must switch to techniques like assist feeding. Force feeding is only necessary in venomous snakes since repeatedly trying to assist feed is dangerous. For all constrictors, you should never force feed but take your time and repeatedly try assisted feeding. Here is a brief overview of the process:

First, gently grab the snake behind the head and take the mouse I the other hand. Do not lift your snake too far off the ground to avoid putting too much pressure on its neck. Push the mouse gently onto the snoot of the snake until it opens its mouth. Now push the mouse gently a little down the throat of the snake using either your fingers or some blunt and not pointy tweezers. Close the snakes mouth and pull the mouth slightly back to hook the fangs inside. Now gently set down your snake and give it some distance. Try not to move too much to avoid stressing it out. Ideally, you snake should not be able to spit the mouse out again and start swallowing it after some time. If it manages to spit the mouse out again, just try again.

Remember that this is just a brief overview, please contact an experienced keeper or vet in your area a learn the skill of assist feeding first hand before you possibly injure your animal.


What kind of equipment should I use?

I highly recommend using snake stainless steel tweezers as equipment for feeding to keep your hand at a safe distance and avoid grabbing the mouse with your hand. This way, your snake will not confuse the hand with the prey and your scent will not be on the prey animal. This equipment can be purchased at a cheap price on amazon.com or on amazon.de– just click on the image to get one and always safely feed your snake!

Snake tweezer rubber front – safely feed your snake

 

If you are interested in my sources, click HERE!

Ball Python (Python regius) Care sheet

This care sheet is supposed to give you a brief overview of the requirements you must meet when caring for ball pythons (Python regius)
Remember that a care sheet for ball pythons cannot provide nearly enough knowledge required for caring for your own animal and is just supposed to give you a brief summary on the species.

Champagne Ball Python

Size and age

Female ball pythons can reach anything between 1.20m and 1.70m when fully grown while males remain shorter at 0.90m – 1.40m. If the animal is well cared for, I can easily reach 20-30 years of age.

Habitat

Ball pythons inhabit the mostly tropical-dry savanna landscapes in western and central Africa, specifically in Benin, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria. The rather small python species uses abandoned mammal burrows as hiding places during the day.

Activity

Ball pythons are mostly active at during dawn and night hours. When dawn sets in, they leave their burrows where they’ve been hiding from the intense head during the day and start hunting.

When handled during the day, ball pythons usually remain unmoved since you have most likely just awoken them. However, around dawn these animals can be highly active and curious, making them highly interesting and engaging pet snakes.

A beautiful natural coloured Ball Python

Handling

Ball pythons are very calm and easy to handle snakes. Only very rarely you meet an individual that is not hesitant to strike at you when bothered. Usually, ball pythons rarely show signs of aggression or stress and are very tolerant.

Generally, when handling snakes. I recommend avoiding any rapid movement or touch to the head, since they are very sensitive around this area and more likely to get stressed out. If you handle you python in a calm and gentle manner, you will not have any trouble and can enjoy the experience.

Humidity

Humidity is usually not too big of an issue with ball pythons. As long as it stays in a range of 40 – 80%, your animal should be just fine. Provide an occasional spray when it is in shed to avoid shedding issues. In addition, since ball pythons like to hide in moist mammal burrows during the day, you must provide at least one shelter with some moist sphagnum-moss inside to ensure that your animal is comfortable.

Temperature

Ball pythons are used to the hot climate of central Africa. This means that the temperature should be around 28° – 35° Celsius during the day and around 24° – 29° Celsius at night. If possible, always provide a hot spot of 35° during the day for your animal to occasionally heat up. Although ball pythons are quite robust, they should not be kept under 20° Celsius at night (22° for juveniles).

Appropriate ball python cage size – 1.5m * 1m * 0.75m – synthetic material

Cage requirements

To ensure that it can move freely and stretch out, provide your python with a cage of at least 1.25 * 0.75 * 0.5 times its length (length * width * height). This means that if your animal is 1m in length, your tank should measure at least 1.25m * 0.75m * 0.5m. This should be fine for no more than 2 individuals living inside (Add 0.5m * 0.25m * 0.25m for every additional individual).

In your cage, provide at least one hiding opportunity for each individual and a water bowl large enough for the largest individual to fully submerge (bath) inside. I also recommend adding some branches, stones or obstacles for your pythons to explore and maybe some twigs or plants for aesthetic purposes. As a bedding, I can recommend chipped wood or wood shavings. If possible, avoid anything too rough and also don’t house you python entirely on sand.

Before you buy a tank/cage, check for any cage requirement regulations in your country.

Cage maintenance

Fortunately, there won’t be very much to do here. I recommend spot cleaning your cage quickly every day, which just means checking for snake waste or skin and removing it quickly. That way, you only have to replace the entire bedding and clean the entire cage once every six or seven months. Make sure that there is always a bowl filled with fresh water and that the sphagnum-moss is always appropriately moist.

Ball Python feeding on frozen-thawed rat

Feeding

I recommend feeding your snake frozen-thawed mice once a week for juveniles and once every 10 – 14 days for adults. Choose the mouse/rat size according to the snake’s size; the snake should be visibly thicker after the meal but still manage swallow comfortably.

If you want, you can of course feed live prey, but I prefer frozen-thawed because it is cheaper and I do not like watching animals die. Ball pythons may be tricky feeders sometimes; some do not accept dead prey at all. A simple trick is to quickly heat the prey up in hot water to simulate body temperature to the snake’s heat detector pits which makes it seem alive. If your individual sees through that, you must offer live food. Only reach to methods like assist- or even force-feeding if you have a mentor who can show you the procedure without injuring your python.

Breeding

In the wild, ball pythons start breeding at the beginning of the rainy season, which is around November. If successful, a mother will begin to lie her eggs around February, when the dry season kicks in. In the terrarium, this is simulated by reducing night temperature to 21° – 24° Celsius and also day temperature to 26° – 31° Celsius. You can also reduce the amount of daylight entering the cage from 12 – 14 hours to 8 – 10 hours. During this time the male must be placed with the female if they are otherwise housed separately. The female will usually shed 27 – 35 days after breeding and lay the eggs in the following days. After that, the eggs should be removed and incubated carefully around 30° Celsius and 90 – 100% humidity until the babies’ hatch.

Common diseases

Ball pythons, like any other animal are prone to getting infectious diseases, snake mites, respiratory infections or other diseases. I cannot cover every scenario in this care sheet. Generally, I recommend regularly checking you pythons scales, mouth, nasal region, eyes and faeces for anomalies. However, don’t be alarmed immediately if you discover anything. Instead, do your research, check more aspects in detail and inform a vet if necessary. For more information on this topic, check the detailed article on common problems with ball pythons on my website snakeinfos.com

Appropriate ball python cage size – 1.5m * 1m * 0.75m – synthetic material

Please remember….

that a care sheep can never provide enough knowledge for a keeper to care for his animal. Always do more background research and get enough trustworthy information from literature on your desired species. If you are interested in more in-depth knowledge about Python regius, visit my website snakeinfos.com where you can find detailed articles on all the above-mentioned subtopics.

I highly recommend the book by the experienced ball python breeder Stefan Broghammer: Python Regius – Atlas of Color Morphs, Keeping and Breeding (Ball Pythons) Click on the link to get a copy from amazon.com or from amazon.de

I have visited his farm personally and also purchased a beautiful and happy young animal from him myself. His book provides excellent knowledge for both beginner and advanced keepers.

If you are interested in my sources, click HERE!

How to tell the feisty from the calm – choosing a pet snake for beginners

One of the biggest issues that arise when choosing a pet snake is whether it is dangerous or not. I get asked very frequently things like: “Are corn snakes dangerous?” or “Are milk snakes dangerous?”. Truth is, there is no one right way to answer this. Although some species are generally calmer than others, it really depends on the individual you get. In this article, I want to talk about how you can choose a calm individual that fits your personal interests.

Ball Pythons are usually very calm and harmless to handle

How to choose a harmless pet snake

This is best achieved when buying at your local pet shop. Sure, we know that generally, snakes like corn snakes, milk snakes, rat snakes or ball pythons common in the pet trade are regarded as harmless. However, every once in a while, there is an animal among these species that just wants absolutely nothing to do with you and it also acts accordingly defensive. For example, a young ball python female of mine, advertised to be one of the most harmless species on earth, is absolutely feisty and bites at every possible occasion.

How to tell the calm from the feisty

Snakes very openly tell you how they feel trough their body language. It is usually very easy to tell a generally calm and relaxed individual apart from the feisty ones. A good indicator is the speed of head movement: All snakes are very sensitive to touch around their head or neck since this is where they are vulnerable. If a snake is very tolerant to touch around this region, you definitely have a keeper. This individual is most likely not bothered by rapid or jerky movement and perfectly suited for a not very experienced beginner.

Defensive display of a Naja Naja, the spectacle cobra – a snake always communicates through their body language

Look for rapid or jerky movements in general. If an animal seems very alert or nervous, it is probably easily stressed out and not suited for beginner keepers. The tongue is another great indicator of alertness. A snake that flicks its tongue for long intervals and seems somewhat bothered by the presence of your hand is also most likely to easily stressed out. On the other hand, if it flicks in short interval, you most likely have a curious, active and calm individual perfectly suited for you

How to not stress out your pet snake

The most important thing is to not move rapidly or unexpectant. Try to always stay calm and never grab the animal to tight. Also, if possible stay away from grabbing onto its head or passing your hand in front of its eyes. Snakes are usually very sensitive to movement around their head and will get scared that way

What species of pet snakes are suitable for beginners

This question really depends on your personal preferences. If you want a generally more active individual that moves curiously around and is diurnal, you are best of with snakes like corn snakes or milk snakes. These are highly active and curious animals and they will move unusually in a very calm manner around and investigate. They are certainly great pets if you want an individual you can interact with on a frequent basis.

Do I want a corn snake?
Corn snake – active but calm

On the other hand, if you want a maybe less active, but a bit more impressive animal in terms of body size and strength, go with a ball python. These creatures are usually very tolerant and very interesting pets. They do however not move about on a frequent basis and are nocturnal. However, they are certainly very impressive feeders and perfect for you if you want to have a pet you can admire and enjoy caring for it.

 

Do I want a ball python?
Ball Pyhton – calm and impressive

I hope you are now a bit more confident about what type of pet snake you want and I wish you the best of luck along your journey of becoming a snake lover. Remember that there are always exceptions to all these common traits of species and that no two individuals are the same. Much like humans, snakes have individual characters which is why you best choose your animal at a local pet shop where you can observe it first-hand.

Are snakes dangerous? – How to react when encountering a wild snake

Although snakes have been deviled for centuries, even millennia, they are really not dangerous to us humans….., IF you treat them correctly! We must remember that snakes are wild animals with the instinct to protect themselves. This means that when threatened, it will defend itself by any means possible. The problem here is that we often mistake this defensive behavior for aggression. You have probably crossed paths with many snakes already without even noticing them because when they realized you were there, they hid away. However, sometimes it will not see you coming or there will be no chance to escape for the animal in which case, it will try to defend itself.

Defensive display of a Naja Naja, the spectacle cobra – a snake always communicates through their body language

Snakes are generally very reluctant to bite and will try to scare you away first by acting aggressively. In this manner the cobra will spread its hood and hiss or the rattlesnake will rattle. This is just to tell you “Hey, I am dangerous, but I don’t want any problems, so please stay away!”. It does not want to risk getting injured in a fight or wasting its precious venom, which is why it acts defensively in the first place. Now are snakes dangerous or not? No! If you see a snake, your perfectly fine, just back away from it. No snake will ever chase you!

Now of course, there are some species of snakes we better stay far away from: the venomous ones. How do we distinguish between the venomous and no venomous ones?

This question cannot be answered one way or another because there are simply too many similar species around the world. No, the average grass, rat or milk snakes we have all come across are not venomous or dangerous at all. In most places around the world, the shape of the head is a good indicator; viper mostly have a triangular head shape and are rather short and fat. However, snakes like mambas are just as slender as the average tree snake, which is why we can never be entirely sure. Stay away from anything that hoods like cobras or any type of rattler. Don’t rely on colours as an indicator. Many species of venomous snakes are just as dull and brown as a garter snake or vice versa.

Vipers usually have distinct features that make them easy to indentify, like their trianular head shape.

Still, it is better to assume that every snake you come across is venomous, because you simply cannot be sure what species it is, unless you are an expert. That way, you will never get into any trouble with snakes.

How do I react if there is a snake in my garden?

If you suddenly come across a snake around your property, stay calm, remember that they just want to be left alone. It is not trying to eat your kids or your pets. In most cases, it’s just looking for a safe or warm place to hide.

Always keep an eye on it, but do not approach it. If you live in an area were venomous snakes are common, call either the police or a similar institution. If you know of a person familiar with snakes around, contact them. Please do not try to kill it since that will just scare it and lead it to at defensively, maybe even injuring you in the process.

Generally, remember that snakes are wild animals and just want to be left alone. They do not want to attack you or get into a fight with you. Also remember that they are probably more scared of you than you are of them, so just respect it and back off from it.

How much do you know? Cool & Fun facts about snakes

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.

    Heat pits of pit viper
    Heat pits of asian tree viper (Trimeresurus) (looks like nasal pits)

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!

If you are interested in my sources, click HERE!

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About Me

About Me:

I’m swiss and have been fascinated with snakes since I was 7 years old. I have always wanted a pet snake, and after eight years of continuous beggin, I finally got my first ball python (named Pepper). From there on my passion grew and I have been keeping snakes for some time now.

In my opinion, snakes are the most misunderstood creatures in the world. There are so many myths about these truly shy and peaceful animals out there and most people are blinded by prejudices.

My love for snakes has not reached a limit yet and I’m still reading everything I can find about these magnificent creatures. I also recently got my licence for keeping venomous snakes in Switzerland. On this page I want to share my knowledge about these wonderful animals and provide helpful tips for beginners and advanced keepers.

I hope this page will help you taking better care of your pet snake

Best of luck,

Timmy