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General Facts About Snakes
In the previous section I told the story of snakes, how they became what they are now. But what are they? How do they live their lives, where do they live? This is what I will address in this section.
Snakes are long, narrow bodies. Their internal organs allow them to fit a long and narrow body type. Snakes only have one functioning lung, so it’s important that their environment is clean and sterile.
Interesting fact to know; to find out how many “vertabreas” the snake has, you can count the number of stomach scales. There will always be a new dimension for each vertebra. Its jaws have evolved so that the snake can swallow prey twice its size. The lower part of the jaw is not locked together, as it is in many other animals, but can be divided into two parts. This way its mouth can open, swallow the prey, and then pull its jaws together again. When the snake does this, it seems to be surprised, opening its mouth wide and closing again.
Their vision is just terrible, they don’t see like us; instead they see heat and movements. They also hear nothing but very low frequencies, so talking to snakes won’t work. You can shout, the snake cannot hear you. However you feel the vibration, so pressing your foot on the ground will definitely get your attention. If you have seen a snake blowing a whistle, you can be sure that the person is stomping on the ground or similar, because snakes will not hear the whistle.
Males have two reproductive organs, the hemipenes. During mating only one will actually produce sperm. With snakes you can sex snakes by “picking” them. That means that to check for a man you pop out the hemipenes by pressing down on the tail. If done wrong this can harm the snake and make it sterile, so you should always have someone show you how to do it before trying. This cannot be done with other snakes then very small. Males tend to expand more around the respiratory area before the tail decreases rapidly (due to internal hemipenes), while in females the tail decreases more normally. But this can be very difficult to see with the naked eye, so the best way to sex a snake is by “research”. Proping is where you stick a probe into the hole of the snake and see how far it goes before meeting resistance. In men the hemipenes allow the research to go further than in the woman.
When it comes to childbirth, snakes are not good parents. The father is completely at home, he impregnates the woman and leaves. The woman then either lays her eggs, or has live children. Pythons and corn snakes lay eggs, while boas have live babies. Some snakes lie on the eggs until they hatch, regardless of temperature regulation for them, while others like a corn snake lay them and leaves. A pregnant snake is said to be “gravid”. After children are born or raised they are on their own. This may be nature’s way of controlling snake populations, because snakes can have many offspring! However, without any help from parents most do not. For these it is the best survival, but also very lucky!
Color and texture
Snake skin is scaly, but not thin which is a common misconception. Snakes are NOT insects!
Their skin is raised by scales, which help the snake move by moving the surface. As new cells grow under the snake’s skin, the new cells push away the old cells, creating a transparent skin. When the snake grows and the upper layer of the skin is pushed even further, the snake goes through the process of shedding.
Marketing has several levels; first, the skin will become wet, and the snake’s belly will change. Then its eyes reach the “opaque” stage, its eyes turn blue and the snake is basically blind for a few days. This is because the snake is throwing the level in front of him. Then the snake began to look normal again, and it was very difficult to see that it had shed. The next thing is to close the skin to the top, rocks etc., to remove the skin from the head to the tail. It’s like a sock pulled off, ending inside out. The skin of the snake should be partially removed. Young snake sold often; every month or two. As they grow older, their growth rate slows down, and they shed less frequently. Although they do most of their growth in the first two years, snakes never stop growing. Adult snakes sell a couple of times a year. Digestion is also very important in getting rid of parasites.
Snakes can now be found all over the world, the only place where there are no snakes is the arctic region. They are such adaptable creatures, there just isn’t any comparison to their success. They live in deserts, cities, oceans, lakes, forests, mountains, savannas, rainforests and so on. The list can go on and on. Snakes are everywhere.
Snakes in colder regions often go into a type of hibernation in the winter, called brumation. Unlike hibernation where everything is closed and wakes up again in the spring, brumation is what you can call “doing nothing”. All the body functions are perfect and the snake is even moving around a little. However, mostly it lies there and waits for spring. The snake often chooses a place under the ground, so that it can be as warm as possible during the winter. Almost all snakes live in areas with cold temperatures during the winter, otherwise they will not survive.
There are many places where non-native snakes have been introduced to the area and are now doing well. Many times this represents a real challenge to the ecosystem, as new snakes crowd out other species, or the simple fact that people don’t want them there. This is why people with snakes, can’t just go to the park and drop them! I can’t stress this enough, just look at what happened in the Everglades in Florida. Now the anacondas and reticulated pythons are breeding in the area where they do not exist, because of the careless owners who are faced with snakes that they cannot catch or do not want to let them be released. Such actions can lead to bad consequences.
All snakes are carnivorous, but the diet varies greatly depending on habitat and size. Most are rodents; mice, rats, rabbits, gerbils etc. Others eat fish, eggs, lizards and even other snakes. Larger species can eat pretty much everything from hippos to crocs.
Snakes are amazing in terms of patience, they can lie in one place for days, just waiting for prey to pass by. If the prey comes, the snake will use its attack method, either shock or poison, to kill it.
A snake cannot taste anything, and it does not eat. More about how snakes can swallow prey several times its size in the anatomy section, but basically its lower jaw splits in two while eating, and muscle movements help the snake move. The teeth point to the back of its mouth, so when prey is bitten it is impossible for it to escape. The more the prey tries to push itself out, the better it is to hold the snake. It’s very smart, and it’s simple. Anyone who has ever been bitten by a snake knows that trying to pull the finger out of its mouth rarely works. To make your finger loose, you have to push forward to the mouth to get the loose to hold, and then open your mouth and free it.
If the prey is not dangerous, such as a pinkie mouse, the snake will not bother to lose the power to kill it, but rather swallow it alive.
After the snake has finished eating, it is time for him to cut his food. This is very important and the snake cannot be disturbed during this process. This process usually takes about 48 hours, and if the snake is in danger, the prey is too big, or the weather is not warm enough, it will return (throw up). Regurgitation is important for all snakes, their systems are basically reversed. The best thing to do after discharge is to wait at least ten days before trying to eat again. How often a snake is different from species to species. Most of the time males (sometimes females) rush around the breeding season regardless of whether they are mature or not. Snakes may also not eat if they are shedding.
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