Some Interesting Facts About Snakes
Snakes are fascinating creatures. Most of them are harmless as far as human beings are concerned. Only a small percentage of them are venomous and even among these, only a few have lethal venom. However, since people are not able to distinguish between venomous and non venomous snakes, they kill just about every snake they come across. Human contacts with the snakes, is on the increase mainly because of disappearance of habitats. This leads to more snakes being killed. People are also killed, especially in the rural areas. The only way of keeping the snakes away from the people is to preserve the existing habitats. Some important and interesting snake facts are provided here.
1. Many people believe that the snakes do not have bones. They have. They also have organs like the heart, the lungs and the kidneys. They also have the blood. The snakes also possess the brain. The brain is underdeveloped and therefore, the snakes are incapable of ‘learning’.
2. Snakes do not have eye lids. They also do not have ears. They are totally deaf. However, they get to ‘hear’ from the vibrations on the ground.
3. There are about 2,500 species of snakes. Only about 20% are venomous.
4. The human legs receive the maximum number of snake bites as they are closest to the ground and are easily targeted.
5. There have been stories of snakes chasing people. However, these stories have no substance. Snakes cannot move very fast. The fastest speed recorded is 13 Km/hr. Most of the snakes are much slower than this and an adult human being can easily outrun any snake.
6. Three species of snakes can spit out venom. This is done with accuracy and can reach a distance of nearly 8 feet. The targets are the eyes of the enemy which can even be a human being. When the venom falls on the eyes, it can even lead to blindness. This act shows some level of intelligence as the snakes understand the importance of the eyes. However, this act of spitting is only a defense and is not used for getting food.
7. Many snakes have good vision. However, most of the burrowing snakes are blind. They have a good sense of smell.
8. The longest recorded life span for a snake is 30 years. This has been seen in the case of anacondas.
9. Snakes are rarely seen in Ireland and New Zealand.
10. Some snakes are oviparous and lay eggs. Some snakes are ovoviviparous and give birth to live young ones. There is hardly any parental care for the young snakes and these have to fend for themselves. Some snakes, however, guard their eggs. The king cobra is the only snake which actually builds nests for the eggs.
11. Sea snakes have no gills and have to surface occasionally. They, however, can remain submerged for a long time as they have the ability utilize the oxygen dissolved in water.
12. The reticulated python of Southeast Asia is the longest snake while the green anaconda of South America is the largest snake.
13. The snakes like the anacondas kill their prey by constricting and suffocating them. They swallow the food whole. Sometimes they swallow a large animal and subsequently go without food for weeks.
14. Most of the snakes have a large number of teeth and some snakes contain as many as 200. But, these are not used for chewing as the teeth are curved backwards. They are mainly used for holding the prey.
15. Some snakes are capable of flying. Actually, it is gliding from one tree branch to another. They flatten the body into a disc which enables gliding.