Interesting Facts about Snakes

Facts about Snakes – Have a look at our amazing information about snakes for kids and adults. Learn about snake’s behavior, snake venom, snake’s food habits, snake parks, types of snakes and much more. Snakes are one of the scariest creatures in the World. Some people believe that even seeing a snake in their dream will bring them bad luck. In ancient India, snakes were used in war to trigger confusion and fear among the enemies. In some parts of India, snakes are being worshipped as God (Naga). The devotees of Naga will offer milk to the snake idols. In India, Nag Panchami is a major Hindu Festival associated with snake worship.

Snakes occupy a predominant space in Hindu Mythology.

  • Snake in Lord Shiva’s neck – Vasuki
  • Snake in Lord Vishnu’s bed – Adishesha
  • Mythology Fact: Vasuki – This snake is used as a rope to extract the Amruth (a divine solution which gives immortality) from the ocean of milk.
  • Even in the Harry Potter Series, a snake character named Nagini has a major role.

In the Animal Kingdom, which class do Snakes belong to?

Snakes belong to Class Reptilia. In addition to snakes, the Class Reptilia comprises turtles, crocodiles, lizards, tuatara (kind of reptiles endemic to New Zealand), and their extinct relatives.

Where do Snakes live?

Snakes live everywhere. They live in rivers, oceans, lakes, trees, forests, and also in deserts. The only place where snakes cannot survive is those places which have frozen temperature all around the calendar. So we cannot find snakes in North of Arctic circle and Antarctica.

What do you need to know about the outer body of the Snake?

Similar to fishes, the body of snakes are also covered with scales. The major purpose of scales is it helps the snakes to move over hot as well as rough surfaces. The scales are 100% waterproof. The scales are made up of keratin. The scales of the snakes protect them from dehydration. Snakes sleep with their eyes open, as they lack eyelids.

Why do Snakes shed their skin?

Snakes shed their skin periodically. The skin of the snakes comes off in a single piece. Snakes shed their skin to make a way for further growth. The snake’s skin doesn’t stretch as the animal grows. At one point in time, the stretching capability of the skin stops. So snake shed their old skin layer.

What do you need to know about the inner body of the Snake?

The most surprising thing about Snakes that it has bones. Even though the snakes are highly flexible, snakes have approximately 150-500 vertebrae with as many ribs attached in their body. Snakes also have a trachea, two lungs, a liver, three-chambered heart, kidneys, intestines, and an anal opening. Snakes have internal ears but do not have external ears. Snakes can only detect vibrations of sound waves conducted through the ground.

Facts about Snakes Body

Even though Snakes have both nostrils and nasal cavities, they are not used to smell. Instead, the flicking tongue is usually used for the purpose of smelling and catching the prey. A snake becomes dormant after eating, while digestion takes place.

How many species of snakes are there?

Approximately, there are more than 3000 species of snakes. Every year, new species of snakes are being added by the scientist community. More than 375 snakes are venomous in nature.

Popular Snake Species in the World & India

S. No. Popular Snake Species Key Points
1 King Cobra Longest venomous snake in the world.
2 The green anaconda Heaviest snake in the world. Fully grown female snake weighs more than 200 kgs.
3 African Rock Python Africa’s largest snake.
4 Arabian horned viper Desert dweller.
5 Indian Cobra Also known as Naja Naja. Most poisonous snake species native to the Indian subcontinent.
6 Indian Rock Python Non-venomous python species.
7 Russells Viper Species responsible for causing the most snakebite incidents in India.
8 Saw-Scaled Viper Rough scaled snake with large eyes.
9 Indian Green Pit Viper Also known as a bamboo snake or tree viper.
10 Banded Sea Krait Also known as yellow-lipped sea krait. It is one of the highly venomous sea snakes found in India.

Fun Facts about Snakes

  • Digestion in snakes takes a longer time. During this process, snakes become dormant. If a snake is disturbed during the digestion process, it tends to vomit the prey and then try to escape the incoming threat.
  • During snake charming performances, snakes respond to movement of the flute, not sound.
  • The size of the snakes varies from few centimetres to 10 meters.
  • In a single bite, some of the venomous snakes are capable of killing a human.
  • Some snake species like king cobras protect their eggs very carefully. Once the babies are born, they stay with the mother for one to two weeks.
  • The Thread snake (smallest snake) eats the eggs of ants and centipedes.
  • The largest snakes, the Pythons and Anacondas eat deer, pigs, rabbits, and other animals.
  • All snakes swallow their food whole. The teeth of the snake are not used for chewing. Instead, teeth are used for grabbing, hooking and holding their prey.
  • Snakes do have predators. Large sized birds, wild boars, mongoose..etc are some of the major threat to the snakes.
  • In China, snake meat is consumed and considered a healthy, warming food.
  • Snake wine is popular in Southeast Asia and China.
  • Snake soup is a popular health supplement in Hong Kong.

Big Four of India

Big Four refers to the four venomous snake species responsible for a maximum number of snake bites in India. They are,

  • Indian cobra, Naja naja
  • Common Krait, Bungarus caeruleus
  • Russell’s viper, Daboia russelii
  • Saw-scaled viper, Echis carinatus

Facts about Snakes Venom

  • Snakes use their fangs to bite and then the venom is injected.
  • Snake venom is basically highly modified saliva that is made up of around 80% proteins and some 20% enzymes.
  • Approximately 375 species of snakes are able to create venom. [Explore More Facts About Snakes Venom]

Antivenom from Snakes

  • Snake antivenom is a medication made up of antibodies used to treat snake bites by venomous snakes.
  • It is a biological product that typically consists of venom neutralizing antibodies derived from a host animal, such as a horse or sheep.
  • Initially, a host animal such as the horse or sheep will be given a minor dose of snake venom. Eventually, the host animals will develop antibodies against the venom.
  • Then the dosage will be increased gradually. That will pave the way for more antibodies.
  • After a certain point, the antibodies are collected from the host animal and processed to make snake antivenom.

Snake Parks in India

  • Parissinikadavu Snake Park, Kannur (Kerala)
  • Guindy Snake Park, Chennai
  • Katraj Snake Park, Pune
  • Calcutta Snake Park, Kolkata
  • Bannerghatta Snake Park, Bengaluru

Snake bite – What to do and What not to do?

If you are bitten by a snake,

1. Keep yourself as calm as possible. Because if you get panic, your heart rate will be enhanced and then the venom would circulate faster in your body.

2. You should not eat or drink anything. Because it is necessary to keep your metabolism at a low rate.

3. Never ever cut the bite area with a knife or anything. Also, don’t suck the venom out with your mouth or anyone’s (Just like Indian Movies).

4. Keep the bitten area below the heart. Do not apply a tourniquet.

5. If possible, try to remember the looks of the snake. It will be easy for the medical staff to give you the right Anti Venom. Things like the length of the snake, thickness of the snake, colour, patterns or markings in snake’s body, shape of the snake’s head..etc.

6. If possible take a photograph of the snake. Some antivenom is polyvalent – that is, it is effective against multiple types of venom.

Golden Rule to save yourself from snakes

  • If you ever meet a snake, don’t get tensed and search a stick to kill. Things may go differently.
  • You just need to go back slowly. A sudden movement may panic the snake.
  • Do not turn your back to the snake and also do not run.
  • Walk backwards slowly and give the possibility for a snake to go away.

Is there any special day observed for Snakes?

Yes. The World Snake Day is observed on July 16. The world snake day mainly focuses on creating awareness about snakes among the people.

Quick Fact:

  • Snakes have a special ability to swallow prey larger than their mouth. They are able to do this with the help of special tendons located in their mouth. The tendons are super stretchable.
  • In Zoology, the process of shedding the old skin is known as Ecdysis. This process is also known as moulting.
  • Study of Reptiles is called Herpetology.

(Also Read About Important Branches of Biology)

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