Some people love snakes. Others dislike or even fear them. No matter how you feel about snakes, they play an important role. All snakes are carnivores and most of them eat rodents, such as mice, rabbits and rats. Rodents eat human food and crops. They also carry disease. Snakes keep rodent populations under control. Without their help, rodents would overrun the earth.
There are over 3,000 species of snakes. Because snakes can’t regulate their body temperature, they need sunlight to keep them warm. This is why most snakes live in hot, humid places, such as the rainforest. Some snakes are smaller than a pencil. Others are as long as your school bus. All snakes have a few things in common, though. They have long, thin bodies and no limbs. Snakes have eyes that don’t blink. They are also covered in scales.
The largest snakes in the world are the python, anaconda and boa constrictors. The green anaconda can grow to a whopping 30 ft and weigh up to 500 lb. Some of the most dangerous snakes in the world are – Black Mamba, King Cobra and Inland taipan. The Inland taipan is also know as the Fierce snake and a single drop of venom is so toxic it can kill 100 men, yikes. Luckily enough they are not an aggressive snake.
Snakes are though reptiles, they have been around for millions of years and survived when dinosaurs died away. Apart from Antarctica snakes are found on all continents. They hibernate during the winter season. They can smell using their tongues. Some snakes have heat vision, they can hunt by seeing heat from their intended prey. This makes up for their poor eyesight.
As much as we fear being bitten by snakes, their venom can be a life saver. Snake venom is used along with other medicine to produce antivenom. Did you know that there is a flying snake? Yes they exist, known by their scientific name “Chrysopelea“. They glide through through the air They can glide as much as 100 meters from tree to tree.
Fun Facts about Snakes for Kids
- There are 700 species of venomous snakes in the world. Around 250 of those can kill a human with one bite.
- Only four venomous snakes live in the United States – rattlesnakes, water moccasins/cottonmouths, coral snakes and copperheads. Most of these snakes are found in swamps and marshy areas in the southeastern United States.
- In the U.S., about 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year. Only five people die from snake bites. Prompt medical treatment saves lives.
- Snakes lay eggs. Some snakes incubate the eggs in their bodies and give birth to live babies.
- Venomous snakes are poisonous from birth. The young are actually more dangerous than older snakes, because they’re more likely to strike. Older snakes usually try to flee.
- Most snakes are shy, not aggressive. They just want to be left alone.
- Population: group
- Overrun: take over, ruin, destroy
- Regulate: control
- Venomous: poisonous
- Aggressive: fierce, quick to attack
Learn More All About Snakes
Watch this amazing video about how snakes behave:
A documentary about snakes.
Question: Do snakes care for their babies?
Answer: King cobras fiercely protect their eggs. Once the babies are born, they stay with their mother for no more than a week or two before heading out on their own.
Question: Do snakes make good pets?
Answer: Some people like to keep snakes as pets. Snakes can live a long time and become very large, so it’s important to choose snakes carefully.