Snakes Alive!

Photo of a rattlesnake with it's forked tongue out

Are you terrified of snakes? Or are you amazed by snakes? People usually have one reaction or the other!

Snakes are reptiles, most closely related to lizards. Snakes have a backbone, no arms, or legs, and are covered in scales. They are cold-blooded but do enjoy the warmth of lying in the sun. Snakes live all over the world, except in extreme cold found in the polar regions. Most of the over 3,000 species of snakes are harmless, but venomous snakes kill more than 100,000 people each year. 

All snakes are carnivores. Some snakes kill by biting and injecting venom (poison) through their fangs into their prey. These snakes are rattlesnakes and cobras. Others wrap their bodies around their prey to suffocate them. These snakes are boa constrictors and anacondas. Snakes can move amazingly fast and strike quickly. Others wait before attacking their prey.

Snakes swallow their victims whole. Their jaws are like rubber bands and can stretch much wider than their own head. 

Snakes grow out of their skin a few times a year. The snake slithers out of its too tight skin in a brand-new skin.

overhead view of a snake
Black and yellow snake in an attack position
Did You Know?

•    Some snakes have more than 400 ribs. Humans have only 24.
•    The easiest meal for a snake is a smaller snake, due to its shape. But not all snakes eat other snakes.
•    Snakes come in many different sizes, ranging from a tiny 4 inches to 30 feet long.
•    Snakes use their forked tongues to sense danger or find food.