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Table of Contents
Snakes are classified as reptiles along with crocodiles, lizards and turtles. They are cold-blooded animals meaning their body temperature can change according to the surroundings.
See the fact file below for more information on the snakes or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Snakes worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Snakes Around the World
- Scientific Name: Serpentes
- Rank: Suborder
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- There are approximately 2,900 species of snakes around the world. They can live in forests, deserts, in the ground, trees, streams, lakes and even oceans. The only places they cannot survive are the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.
- Mexico has the highest number of venomous snake species with 80, followed by Brazil, Australia, Colombia, India and Indonesia.
- In Brazil, Snake Island or Ilha de Queimada Grande, located near São Paulo, is one of the most snake-infested places in the world. It is uninhabitable because of the huge numbers of golden lancehead pit vipers. Almost 90% of snake-bite fatalities are caused by this snake species.
- The Sonoran Desert in Arizona is home to the largest rattlesnake species in the world – the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
- In Myanmar, Snake Pagoda is an important monument for Buddhists. In the mid-90s, monks discovered a pair of pythons in one of Buddha’s statues. They were released to the wild but continued to return. Since then, monks began to see them as reincarnations of past monks.
- Snakes are scaled reptiles. The protective scales help them move on rough surfaces such as rocks, trees and hot desert sand. Their scales are almost waterproof and are made of layers of cells. There are times in a year when snakes shed their outer layer cells or dead skin.
- Snakes are vertebrates, meaning they have a backbone. They have 200 to 400 vertebrae all attached to ribs. They also have a long throat, two lungs, a liver, a kidney, intestines and an anus covered by an anal plate.
- In many countries, venomous snakes are “milked” through their fangs, forcing the release of venom to make antivenom.
- Some of the most poisonous snakes are sea snakes, adders, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, copperheads and cobras.
- Most snakes have four rows of teeth on the top jaw and two rows on the bottom jaw.
- Snakes do not have feet. They use their scales and undulating muscles to move. They have four ways to move including the serpentine method, concertina method, sidewinding and rectilinear method.
- Most snakes have poor eyesight. Some can only distinguish light and dark so they use their intense sense of smell and touch. Unlike humans, snakes smell with their tongue. The small notch in their lips enables them to stick out their tongue without opening their mouth.
- Snakes can also determine the size of their prey through vibrations on the ground.
- Snakes are carnivores, which means they only eat meat, including each other. Some are hunters while others patiently wait for an ambush.
- Some snakes, like the cantil, have the ability to look like a worm, using the bright yellow tip on its tail to lure other predators.
- Thread snakes are the smallest kind, which eat the eggs of ants and centipedes. Most snakes eat rodents, birds, fish, frogs, lizards and other small mammals. Large snakes like pythons and anacondas will hunt deer, pigs and other larger mammals.
- Snakes do not use their teeth for chewing. They are used for grasping, holding and hooking their prey. All snakes swallow their prey whole. Food can take around 10 minutes to travel from the throat to the stomach. It can take days to months to fully digest food.
- Right after hibernation, snakes mate during the spring. In tropical countries, mating can happen all year round.
- Snakes like boas, rattlesnakes and garter snakes give birth to live young, while most lay eggs in a warm place. Some snakes leave their eggs before they hatch while others, like the king cobra, brood their young until they hatch.
- Aside from being predators, snakes are also prey. Large birds like eagles, foxes, coyotes and mongoose eat them.
- In order to protect themselves, some snakes camouflage themselves, while others burrow in the ground. Some play dead when threatened and others will release a bad smell like a skunk does.
Interesting Types of Snakes
- Pit vipers are venomous snakes equipped with a specialized heat-sensing system located in between their eyes and nostrils. This organ enables them to sense the body heat of animals in the dark.
- All types of rattlesnakes are pit vipers, along with horned desert vipers, water moccasins, lanceheads, eyelash vipers and copperheads.
- Anacondas are part of boa constrictor family. They are mostly found in the rainforests of South America, specifically the Amazon. They are giant snakes with an average size of 20 feet and 300 pounds. Along with pythons, they are non-venomous but deadly. Constrictors grab hold of their prey and suffocate them by coiling the bodies around them and squeezing. Unlike pit vipers, their heat-sensitive scales can be found around their mouths.
- Cobras are easily recognized through their threatening hood on their neck. They rise up and extend their hoods when they feel threatened.
- There are over 270 types of cobra in Southern Asia, Australia and Africa. They live under rocks, in trees and underground in hot and tropical areas. Aside from being skilled hunters, they are also cannibals, meaning they’ll eat their own kind. Spitting cobras can spray their venom as far as 6 feet and target the eyes of their prey.
- Unlike many other snake species, the garter snake lives in colder climates like Canada. They come in different colors and are relatively small. During winter, they hibernate underground.
- Venomous snakes are either hemotoxic (black mamba), which causes bleeding; neurotoxic (coral snake), which disrupts nerve function; or cytotoxic (spitting cobra), which destroys cells.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Snakes across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Snakes worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the snakes which are classified as reptiles along with crocodiles, lizards and turtles. They are cold-blooded animals meaning their body temperature can change according to the surroundings.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Snakes Facts
- Snake Index
- Venomous and Non-venomous
- Snake World
- Types of Venom
- Snake Movement
- All About Snakes
- Nature Pyramid
- Body of Snakes
- Scientific Classification
- Dangerous or Not?
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Link will appear as Snakes Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 17, 2018
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