Friday, 10 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Snakes

Image result for snakes1. According to Wikipedia, snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. And, like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic amniote vertebrates. Now, that's a lot of big words which are difficult to understand unless you've swallowed a dictionary. They could have just said snakes are long, drunken, meat-eating serpents covered in scales.

Image result for thread snake2. There are over 3000 different species of snake. The smallest is the Thread Snake at around 10cm long, and resembles a worm. But, as we know, size isn't everything. However, if you're going for a big one, the largest snake is the Reticulated Python, which can grow up to 28ft in length. Although if you want even bigger, then the largest snake to ever have lived, around 60 million years ago, was the Titanoboa, measuring a whopping 50ft in length. Bet he wasn't embarrassed undressing in the shower.

Image result for snake tongue3. Snakes smell through their tongues? Yep, that's why they are sticking them out all the time. It's not just because they like blowing raspberries. They pick up chemical particles on the tips of their forked tongues and bring them back into their mouths for a quick sniff and taste. So, next time you think about trumpeting, take a moment to think of the poor snake hiding under your bed. It doesn't just smell it, the poor creature tastes it at the same time.

Image result for boa constrictor4. Hugs can be dangerous. Pythons and Boa Constrictors wrap around their prey and squeeze ... and squeeze ... and squeeze. In fact, they are like your Aunty at a wedding. Once they get their arms around you for a hug, they won't let go, and it gets tighter, and tighter, and tighter, until you can't breathe anymore. Which is how Aunties kill people. And how Constrictors kill, as well.

Image result for python5. Snakes are very much like babies - they can't bite or chew. They swallow their food whole. They have flexible jaws, which don't actually unhinge like some believe, that allow them to open wide so they can eat prey that's bigger than their head. The snakes also have this ability. In fact, the only real difference between a baby and a snake, is that a snake looks ridiculous in a diaper. Both sleep a lot, slither into a bush when threatened, play with rattles, are venomous, shed their skin three or four times a year, and are the arch-nemesis of Indiana Jones.

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