Snakes, one of the most deadly and widely feared creatures on the planet.
Snakes belong to the suborder Serpentes, are elongated, limbless and flexible reptiles. There are about 3,000 known species of snakes, of these, some 700 species are venomous and of those around 250 can deliver a bite capable of killing a human.
But even non-venomous snakes can be dangerous to humans, especially the biggest snakes in the world.
Snakes eat their prey whole and are able to consume prey up to over 3 times larger than the diameter of their head.
This is possible because their lower jaw and upper jaw can separate from each other.
To keep prey from being able to escape, most snakes have rear-facing teeth that hold their victim in their mouths, specially the constrictors like the Burmese Python.
Venomous snakes inject their prey with venom, while constrictors will squeeze the life out of their prey.
Snakes don’t need to hunt and feed on a daily basis. Anacondas and pythons can survive for up to a year without food after feeding.
1. The decapitated head of a dead snake can still bite, even hours after death. These types of bites usually contain huge amounts of venom.
2. Rattlesnake antivenom costs $20,000 per vial. One Florida boy needed 75-80 vials, which adds up to about $1.6 million.
3. The muscle that causes a rattlesnake to rattle fires 50 times a second for up to 3 hours or 520,000 rattles without stopping.
4. What is considered the most “dangerous” snake depends on both a specific country’s health care and the availability of antivenom following a bite. Based on these criteria, the most dangerous snake in the world is the saw-scaled viper, which bites and kills more people each year than any other snake.
5. Snakes are found all throughout the earth except Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and New Zealand because they can’t survive on the frozen grounds.
6. Of the approximately 725 species of venomous snakes worldwide, 250 can kill a human with one bite.
7. The fear of snakes (ophiophobia or herpetophobia)is one of the most common phobias worldwide. Approximately 1/3 of all adult humans areophidiophobic, which suggests that humans have an innate, evolutionary fear of snakes.
8. The warmer a snake’s body, the more quickly it can digest its prey.
Typically, it takes 3–5 days for a snake to digest its meal. For very large snakes, such as the anaconda, digestion can take weeks.
9. Some animals, such as the Mongoose, are immune to snake venom.
10. The heaviest snake in the world is the anaconda. It weighs over 595 pounds (270 kg) and can grow to over 30 feet (9m) long. It has been known to eat caimans, capybaras, and jaguars.
11. The most advanced snake species in the world is believed to be the black mamba. It has the most highly evolved venom delivery system of any snake on Earth. It can strike up to 12 times in a row, though just one bite is enough to kill a grown man.
The black mamba is the world’s fastest snake and the world’s second-longest venomous snake in the world, after the king cobra.
Found in East Africa, it can reach speeds of up to 12 mph (19kph). It’s named not from the color of its scales, which is olive green, but from the inside of its mouth, which is inky black. Its venom is highly toxic, and without anti-venom, death in humans usually occurs within hours.
12. The death adder has the fastest strike of any snake in the world. It can attack, inject venom, and go back to striking position in under 0.15 seconds.
13. While snakes do not have external ears or eardrums, their skin,muscles, and bones carry sound vibrations to their inner ears.
14. There are about 3,000 different species of snakes. All of them are predator.
15. In 2009, a Florida couple was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter of their daughter after their pet Burmese python escaped its cage and squeezed the two-year-old to death.
16. The largest Chinese restaurant in the world seats 5,000 people, employs more than 300 chefs, and goes through 700 chickens and 200 snakes in a week.
20. In an island in Brazil, there are 5 snakes per square meter and hence it is declared a no human zone. So, if you are visiting Brazil, you better not visit this snake island.
21. The most deadly species of snakes are found in Australia which includes Brown Snakes, Copperheads, Death Adders, Tiger snakes and Taipan snakes.
22. The inland taipan is the world’s most toxic snake, meaning it has both the most toxic venom and it injects the most venom when it bites.
Its venom sacs hold enough poison to kill up to 80 people.
In these videos, you will see what snakes’ venom does to human blood.
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23. Some snakes have over 200 teeth. The teeth aren’t used for chewing but they point backward to prevent prey from escaping the snake’s throat.
Not all snakes have fangs only those that kill their prey with venom have them.
When their fangs are not in use, they fold them back into the roof of the mouth (except for the coral snake, whose fangs do not fold back).
Snakes cannot chew, so they must swallow their food whole.
They are able to stretch their mouths very wide(160) because they have a very flexible lower jaw.
Snakes can swallow other animals that are 75%–100% bigger than their own bodies.
A snake’s fangs usually last about 6–10 weeks.
When a fang wears out, a new one grows in its place.
24. Snakes are cold blooded which is why they do need the warmer temperatures to help them survive. They do like to live in humid climates but some of them live in areas where it is dry such a the desert. They shed their skin which is called molting. This will occur many times over the span of their life.
25. Some snakes can consume prey that is several times larger than they are. They will open the hinged jaws and swallow it whole.
26. They have to sleep with their eyes open which is why they usually coil up when they are trying to rest.
27. Snakes often move their tongues around so that they can both smell and taste what is going on around them at the same time.
They are actually sampling their environment as they move along.
They also use it to follow the scent trails of pray
Because the end of a snake’s tongue is forked, the two tips taste different amounts of chemicals. Essentially, a snake “smells in stereo” and can even tell which direction a smell is coming from.
It identifies scents on its tongue using pits in the roof of its mouth called the Jacobson’s organ.
29. In some areas of the world people do enjoy consuming snake meat.
30. Snakes are considered to be a very good pet by some people. This is because they are quiet, they don’t need to be fed daily, and they are exotic so people really take notice of a person that has something like this as a pet.
31. Under the right living conditions some species of snakes can live to be up to 40 years old.
32. Most species of snakes that live in colder places will hibernate until it warms up again.
33. Most young are born from eggs but a few species of snakes give birth to live young.
34. Many Zookeepers believe that Cobras are faster learners than other snakes.
They are able to tell the difference between their trainer and strangers.
35. In Vietnam, it is possible to order a cobra blood wine from restaurant menu.
The waiter will take a live cobra, kill it on the spot, drain the blood into a shot glass of rice wine, and top it off with the cobra’s still beating heart for you to gulp down.
36. The most deadly snakes found in Australia include Brown Snakes, Copperheads, Death Adders, Red-Bellied Black Snakes, Taipan Snakes and Tiger Snakes.
37. The King Cobra is the largest of all venomous snakes, and actually eats other snakes.
Human victims may stop breathing just 30 minutes after being bitten by a cobra.
The world’s longest venomous snake is the king cobra from Asia. It can grow up to 18 feet, rear almost as high as a person, growl loudly, and inject enough venom to kill an elephant.
The king cobra is thought to be one of the most intelligent of all snakes. Additionally, unlike most snakes, who do not care for their young, king cobras are careful parents who defend and protect their eggs from enemies.
38. Snakes lie on rocks and roads because stone absorbs heat from sun, which warms them.
Snakes cannot function properly if the temperature reaches below 50 degree F.
39. Australiais home to the top ten deadliest snakes.
40. Boomslang snake’s venom causes you to bleed from all holes of your body.
41. Some sea snakes can breathe partially with their skin allowing them to make longer underwater dives.
42. Snakes kill nearly 100,000 people every year.
43. Snakes are worshiped as gods in India.
44. Snakes can open their mouth up to 150 degrees.
45. Snakes can sense animals approaching them by detecting faint vibrations in air and on the ground.
46. United States is home to four venomous snakes namely rattlesnakes, water moccasins, copperheads and coral snakes.
47. A group of snake is called a den, pit, bed, or best.
48. World’s fastest snake is black mamba that can move at up to 20 km/hr.
49. Snakes are immune to their venom and venom of their close relatives, but not to the venom of other speciesof snakes.
50. Snakes can go several months without food.
51. Anacondas can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes under water.
51. There are five recognized species of flying snakes. Growing up to 4 feet, some types can glide up to 330 feet through the air.
The paradise tree-snake of southeast Asia can fly.
52. Lebanon military commandoes eat live snakes, a tradition to display their daring and strength.
53. Because snakes shed their skin, they are often symbols of rebirth, transformation, and healing.
54. Two-headed snakes are similar to conjoined twins, an embryo begins to split to create identical twins, but the process does not finish.
Such snakes rarely survive in the wild because the two heads have duplicate senses, they fight over food, and one headmay try to eat the other head.
55. In 2009, a farm worker in Kenya survived an epic 3-hour battle with a 12-foot python after accidentally stepping on the large snake.
It coiled around the man and carried him into a tree. The man wrapped his shirt over the snake’s mouth to prevent it from swallowing him, and he was finally rescued by police after calling for help on his cell phone.
56. The shortest known snake is the thread snake. It is about 4 inches long and lives on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean.
It is said to be as “thin as spaghetti” and it feeds primarily on termites and larvae.
57. The African spitting cobra can spit venom over 8 feet away.
It can spit from any position, including lying on the ground or raised up. It prefers to aim for its victim’s eye.
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