15 Slitheringly Fun Facts About Snakes
Check out these super snake facts! We've got all sorts of fascinating titbits all about snakes and their awesome lives and abilities! Check it out!
Sssssoooo - you want to learn more about snakes? Nice choice! These awesome reptiles have incredible abilities, skills and lives, so check out these slitheringly fun facts all about them! Learn what they eat, the weird way they smell, and why they shed their skin! And if you liked this, we've got even more amazing animal facts here! If you're looking for more reptile resources, check out these turtlely awesome Turtle Facts! Or how about these refreshing Rainforest Facts? There's even some unbelievable Octopus Facts!
1. There Are 1000s of Species of Snakes
At least 3500 to be precise! Snakes are found all over the world, and there are lots of different types of snake - some are venomous, some are harmless, some are big enough to squeeze their prey to death, and some live in the sea! They come in all sorts of colours and sizes, and each species is unique!
2. They Have Flexible Jaws
You might have heard that snakes can dislocate their jaws, which is sort of true - unlike humans, snakes jaws aren't actually connected to their other head bones. Instead, they can spread apart sideways as well as open, meaning they can fit much bigger prey than themselves in their mouths! It can take a long time to eat this way, and even longer to digest their food, since snakes don't chew, only swallow!
3. Snakes Smell With Their Tongues
Snakes can smell, but not in the same way we can. They actually smell using their mouths! The roof of their mouth has a special smell organ, and snakes use their tongues to sense chemicals in the air, and then transport them to the organ to smell them! That's why you often see snakes flicking their tongues!
4. They Shed Their Skins
Snakes and humans have one thing in common - we both shed our skin. However, whereas humans shed thousands of separate skin cells every day, snakes get it all over with in one go by shedding their entire skin as one! They shed their skin as it doesn't grow along with the rest of their bodies, and there's a new skin underneath! This happens up to 12 times a year!
5. Some of Them Are Venomous
Snakes that are venomous make their venom in their saliva glands, and then bite their prey to poison them. There are over 600 kinds of venomous snakes, including the Black Mamba, the King Cobra and the Boomslang!
6. They Don't All Live On Land
Snakes don't just live on land - they also live in water! Water snakes, or Nerodia, are found in North America, whilst sea snakes are found in oceans and often like to live in warm water near coral reefs! Most of them spend their whole lives in water, apart from one type, which lays its eggs on land.
7. They Are Cold Blooded
Snakes are cold blooded animals (or ectothermic), like all reptiles. This means they have to rely on their surroundings for warmth, and why they're often found in warmer climates. Snakes that live in cooler climates must hibernate in winter if they want to survive.
8. The Longest Snake is 33 Feet Long
The longest living snake is the reticulated python, and can be found in many parts of South East Asia. They can also weigh up to 350lbs, although that's not as heavy as the green anaconda, which can weigh up to 500lbs! That's the same as nearly four people!
9. You Can Find Them (Almost) Everywhere
Snakes live on every continent in the world, with one exception - the north and south pole; it's just way to chilly! There are also other parts of the world with no snakes. Ireland is famously snake-free (too cold!) whilst Canada and Hawaii are also lacking in snakes. It's actually illegal to own a snake in Hawaii, as they are a danger to local wildlife populations!
10. They Evolved Millions of Years Ago
Snakes have been around for at least 150 million years - waaay longer than humans! Scientists think that modern snakes evolved from similar reptiles, or maybe a marine mammal called a mosasaur. Some early snakes even had little stubby legs! Gradually, however, they evolved to slide along on their tummies, which is much easier.
11. They Don't Have Ears
Well, sort of. They don't have traditional, human-type ears. Instead, they have an inner ear which is directly connected to...their jawbone! The vibrations of the jawbone on the ground are 'heard' by the inner ear, which sends a message to the brain! Crazy! Can you imagine hearing with your jaw?
12. They Have a LOT of Ribs
In fact, they are mostly ribs! They have ribs attached to every vertebrae bone, and, unlike human ribs, they don't join at the front. This allows snakes to expand their insides while they are digesting large animals! Clever...and a bit gross!
13.They Are Carnivores
Snakes are carnivores, which means they only eat meat. Smaller snakes eat prey such as mice, fish, insects or birds. Big snakes can eat much larger prey, like tortoises, rabbits, deer and even other snakes!
14. They Have Infrared Senses
Snakes have infrared senses, which means they can sense living animals through how much heat they're giving off. They sense this using small holes in their faces, called pit organs, near their mouths. This means that if they are hunting at night time, they can still 'see' their prey!
15. They Can Fly!
Snakes don't just swim - they can also fly! Certain types of snake get around by flying (or, more accurately, gliding) through the air from tree to tree. The snake's body acts as one giant wing, allowing it to move through the air without falling, and they all live in Asia.