Snakes! - The Ultimate Guide to Snakes from Lizardz.com
Snakes are one of several groups of reptiles. Snakes are found throughout
the world except Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and New Zealand.
Snakes are rather unique and lack legs, moveable eyelids and external
ear openings. Snakes have no external ears, but they do have a bone called
the quadrate under the skin on either side of the head which can detect
Snakes are ectotherms (cold-blooded), and must regulate their body
temperature by sunning themselves to warm up, or moving to cooler areas to
cool down. Species that lay eggs are called "oviparous".
Snakes utilize a variety of methods of movement which allows them great mobility
even though they don't have legs. Snakes move by "walking" on their ribs.
Many species of snakes are good climbers and live in trees and shrubs.
In essence, snakes use their tongues to "taste" odors that are transferred
through the air and picked-up by special sense organs in the roof of
Snakes generally specialise in a few food types (for example,
royal pythons will generally eat mice and gerbils in the wild).Snakes do not normally prey on people, but there are instances of small children
being eaten by large constrictors.
Snakes do not chew their food and have
a very flexible lower jaw, allowing them to open their mouths
wide enough to swallow their prey whole, even if it is larger
than the snake itself.
Venomous snakes evolved about 60 million years ago and produce a toxin that
immobilizes or kills their prey. Venomous snakes inject their prey with venom
using hollow fangs, much in the same fashion as hypodermic needles, while
constrictors squeeze their prey to death.
Venomous snakes, don't always release
venom when they bite. This is called a "defensive bite" and is a mthod used
to save venom for hunting prey..
Venomous snakes are roughly divided into
four families: elapids, viperids, colubrids and hydrophiidae. Venomous Old
World snakes are the true vipers, including the adder and the asp, and members
of the cobra family, including the mamba of Africa and the krait of Asia.
Constrictors are snakes that squeeze their victims to death, rather than
poisoning them. Constrictors are non-poisonous, but they can bite. Constrictors
are not poisonous but are potentially dangerous. Constrictors will bite their
prey before it is dead, to gain a grasp to aid in the consticting process. While traditional
knowledge has told us that the squeeze of constrictors suffocates their prey,
new studies may indicate that it is the rupturing of internal organs that
actually causes the dealth of their prey.
Coming Soon! More info on:
Boas and Pythons
Reptiles in the Newz:
The saliva of the gila monster has led to one of two exciting new drugs to fight type 2 diabetes
Both reptiles are endangered species and there is a danger that they will disappear from the planet. Fortunately, some bright scientists decided that before this happened we should discover how it was that reptiles were able to digest their meals so slowly that they could go for months without eating.
10-foot alligator found in yard
Check out this 10-foot alligator found in a residential backyard in eastern Leon County. The photo was submitted by Lora Wiggins...This alligator was becoming too familiar and too big to be in a residential area, so we called the state certified alligator trapper for this area.
Students watch turtle project grow
ELIZABETHTOWN Fourth-graders at Bladen Lakes Primary School are getting a lesson on animal conservation. For the past year, the children have raised Vietnam pond turtles as part of a project to help replenish the turtle population.
Plunging into mysteries of Deep Hole (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
Word is that Deep Hole is to alligators what lightbulbs are to insects. The numbers fluctuate wildly, but as many as 120 of the reptiles have been counted in one sitting.