According to the latest count, there are 3,789 snake species, making them the second largest group of reptiles after lizards. They’re found everywhere from the semi-frozen tundra of northern Canada to the steamy jungles of the equator and most of the world’s oceans. World Snake Day aims to increase awareness about the different species of snakes all around the world.
Ever wondered why snakes might give you an eerie feeling? They don’t have eyelids! This means they don’t blink and have to sleep with their eyes wide open. Snakes also have forked tongues, which they flick in different directions to smell their surroundings. That lets them know when danger—or food—is nearby. When snakes are eating, they can’t help but to swallow their food whole because they can’t chew. Instead, snakes have very flexible lower jaws which allows them to eat animals who are 75% - 100% larger than their own head. The chemicals in their digestive track will do all the work and break down the food once ingested.
Only 1/8 of the known species are venomous
Snakes rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. They are generally not aggressive unless they are hunting or feel like they need to defend themselves. Snakes are highly effective predators and play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. Also snake venom has been studied for medical purposes for many years, with applications ranging from anti-tumor treatments to antibacterial properties.
Snakes shed their skin three to six times a year
Fortunately, snakes are not widely hunted, but their numbers are still declining due to deforestation and climate change causing the deterioration of their habitats and a declining amount of available prey. There are roughly a hundred snake species listed by the IUCN Red List as endangered. So let's support the protection of these important animals, which are an integral part of many ecosystems.
Most snakes are nocturnal.
While approximately 70% of snakes lay eggs, others don’t. Snakes living in especially colder climates have live births because the eggs wouldn’t survive outside.
Snakes do have nostrils, but they don’t use them to smell. Instead they have evolved to smell with their tongue and by using their Jacobson’s organ in the roof of their mouth.
Main Sources: nationalgeographic.com, daysoftheyear.com, worldanimalprotection.org.au
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