General Snake FAQ II (Common Facts about Snakes All Over the World)

Below are some Commonly Asked Questions and Answers about Snakes

  1. What is the world’s largest snake? The Anaconda of South America is the largest snake if you’re going by weight. They can weigh much more than the Reticulated Pythons and Burmese Pythons that we have here in Thailand. If you’re going by longest – the Reticulated Python grows to the longest length.
    The world’s longest venomous snake is the King Cobra. They can reach 5.85 meters, though I found one in Krabi that dwarfed that size!
  2. How many species of snakes are there? Over 3,000 species across the globe (National Geographic).
  3. Are snakes venomous? To be venomous, snakes must have proteins in their saliva that cause adverse reactions in the animals they inject with it. A lot of snakes have venom, but not all of them. In Thailand, we have about 40 venomous terrestrial snakes (land-based).
  4. How do snakes move without legs? They contract various muscles in a pattern that causes them to move forward in s-shapes, virtually straight, or by climbing and using their grip with their scales on things in the environment to propel them forward.
  5. What is the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes? The venom causes negative reactions in the body of the animal bitten by the venomous snake. With non-venomous snakebites, there is no adverse reaction (or little). There is no way to look in appearance and say that one is a venomous snake and that one isn’t, except in the case of those snakes with rattles like rattlesnakes of the Americas. They are all venomous.
  6. Can snakes hear? They sense vibration, which is a form of hearing. They don’t have ears to hear but they sense vibrations in their jaws that can alert them to noises and possible danger, or prey.
  7. What do snakes eat? Certain snake species eat specific things. Some eat snails. Some eat fish. Some eat frogs. Some eat rats and other rodents. Some eat birds, eggs, bats, lizards, geckos, and even other snakes. Some snakes eat rabbits, cats, dogs, deer, alligators, monitor lizards, and occasionally small people.
  8. How long do snakes live? Some snakes can live up to 30 years or more, but the majority of wild snakes live a few years.
  9. Do snakes lay eggs or give birth to live young? Both. For instance, Reticulated Pythons lay eggs. The Brown-spotted Pit Viper has lived young.
  10. How can you tell if a snake is venomous? You cannot usually tell by looking at the snake by guessing if the head is a triangle or if there is some pattern. Across the world, the shapes and patterns of venomous snakes vary considerably.
  11. What is the smallest snake in the world? The Brahminy Blind Snakes are the smallest in the world, and they resemble very thin worms. You can see their eyes and small mouth though. Some of them will bite too! They are harmless for people. They eat ant and termite eggs primarily.
  12. Can snakes swim? Yes, many snakes like the water. Some snakes spend most or all of their lives in water like the Blue-lipped Krait. Reticulated Pythons and King Cobras in particular are 2 land-based snakes that can swim for hours and move between the mainland and islands.
  13. Are all snakes carnivorous? Yes, there aren’t any snakes that exist on a diet of plant life.
  14. How do snakes shed their skin? By rubbing against a rough surface they will start to chaff the old skin and eventually, they can squeeze between a tight place that peels the skin off for them.
  15. What is the purpose of a snake’s tongue? It senses smell and heat.
  16. Do snakes have bones? Yes, an intricate spine and skull!
  17. How do snakes reproduce? Sexually in most cases. Males have hemipenes, a sex organ they place inside females’ cloaca to inject sperm.
  18. Are snakes social animals? Are worms? A snake seems to have a mind similar to a fish, but they’re even LESS social. You don’t find them in groups really except as they hatch and when they mate. Snakes are not social at all. They have only a few things going through their minds. Eating, drinking, sleeping, sex, fear of predators, and shedding.
  19. Can snakes be kept as pets? They shouldn’t be. The reptile pet industry is a travesty and a horrible practice by people who claim to “love snakes.”
  20. What is the lifespan of a pet snake? Until you kill it. It can be days or weeks. Some will last years. Ask yourself if the snake is living its best life in a cage with you walking by a couple of times a day.

Here are some more Snake Questions and Answers >

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