Snakes


The long, legless, reptiles of can be distinguished from lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all snakes, they are ectodermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Most species of snakes have a lot of bones in their skull, allowing them to eat pray larger than their head because of their highly mobile jaws. Since snakes have narrow skeletons, their organs or in front of each other instead of side by side. Most snakes have only one functional lung. Snakes are found in every continent except Antarctica, and some islands.Snakes range in size from 10 cm to 25 ft in length. Snakes are thought to evolve from burrowing or aquatic lizards in the Cretaceous.Most species are not venomous and those that do use venom, primarily use it kill or subdue prey rather than for self-defense. Some venom is strong enough to cause painful injuries or death to humans. Nonvenomous snakes either swallow prey alive and whole or kill by crushing it with a tight constriction.


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Snake Body



A backbone of a snake is made up of many vertebrae attached to ribs. Humans have 33 vertebrae and 24 ribs. Snakes have between 100-400 vertebrae with as many ribs attached, that is what makes them so flexible and helps them move along quickly.All the internal organs of a snake are protected by strong muscles. One-third of the body is made up of the throat. The throat leads to a really long stomach, which, like the throat, will stretch to the size of whatever the snake is eating; snakes can eat food bigger than there heads. Snakes have two long lungs, a long liver, kidneys and intestines. The last quarter of the snake has a small anal opening, covered by a scale called the anal plate, and the rest is tail made up of more bone.

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Check out this website on Snake Bodies.

How they move


Snakes can moving around in four ways. Seeinf as they don’t have legs, they use their muscles and scales to do the “walking”. The first way is the Concertina method: this is when snakes bunch themselves up and then throw themselves forward. The second way is the Serpentine method: this motion is what most people think of when they think of snakes. Snakes will push off of any bump or other surfaces like rocks and trees. with there body to get going. They make themselves move in a wavey motion. They can't move over slick surfaces like glass at all. another way is Sidewinding: this method is similar to an inchworm’s movement. The snake will lift the middle of its body up and then push it down forcing its head to move himself forward. Lastly is the Rectilinear Method: This movemoent is slow, creeping,and straight. The snake uses the wide scales on its belly to grip the ground while pushing forward with the others.



Foods


Snakes consume a variety foods including termites, rodents, birds, frogs, small deer and some other reptiles. Snakes eat their prey whole and are able to consume prey three times larger than the size of their heads.They can do this because of their lower jaw that can separate from the upper jaw. To keep prey from getting away, snakes have rear-facing teeth that keep prey in their mouths. Venomous snakes inject their prey with venom, while constrictors squeeze their prey to death. Snakes don’t need to hunt everyday. Anacondas and pythons can survive for up to a year without food after previous eating.Snakes do most hunting at night.

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Venom


Snake venom is a highly modified saliva made in certain glands of snakes. The gland that secretes the poison is on each side of the head, behind the eye, in a muscular sheath. In an alveoli, the venom is stored before beind transfered by a duct to the base of the fang, where it is ejected. Snake venom is a mixture of many diffrent enzymes and proteins. Some of these proteins are harmless to humans, but some of the toxins aren't. Snake venoms usually isn't dangerous when ingested, therefor is not considered a poison. In some cases, when being bite by a snake can be life threatening. Some snakes like the Rattlesnake, King Cobra, and Vipers are some on the deadly snakes. Even though snake venom can cause deadly causes, it can also cure many illnesses. Scientists have found that natural poisons, toxins, and venoms contain certain chemicals. These can be used to create an array of drugs for treating everything from chronic pain to cancer. The cone shell’s venom, packed with nerve-debilitating conotoxins, provides the basic needs for a new painkiller.Contortrostatin, which is found in Copperhead venom, can be used to attack breast cancer cells and to prevent the cancer from spreading.


For more informatio about snakes click here.; venomous snake information.

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Snake Habitats


Snakes can live in an array of habitats. Starting from forest's to swamps, lakeshores, praires and deserts. In the habitats they can live in burrows, or in tops of trees. The area of the habitat specificly can be determined on the type of snake at hand. For example, the Banded Water snake live is that are around water, on shallow shores or in a hollow log. The Eastern Indigo Snake lives in habitats with pine woods, dry glades, hummocks, and flatwoods.

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Reproduction



Using the vomeronasal organ, which gets all data from the tongue, the male will decide chemically what sex and species the approached. If it is not a sexually receptive female of the right species the male will quickly move off in search of a new mate. If the snake be is a receptive female the male will then attempt to mate with her. He will place his head on her back, wrap his tail around her tail and attempt to join their cloacas together. However the female uncommonly does such an uncomplicated act and she usually moves off while he is trying to mate. The male is usually successful after many hours - or sometimes days - of trying. The sexual organs of the male has two penises - called hemipenes. The hemipene is covered with bendable spines. Once the male succeeds penatrating the cloaca of the female snake, it will inflate and the flexible spines will prevent it from being easily dislodged. This process usually last for an hour or two but sometimes it is as little as a few minutes to as long as a two days. The couple usually lie still throughout the mating but in some cases the female will pull the male along with her as she moves. After mating it is normal for the male to stay with the female for a few days.


Snake Legends




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The Legend
A long time ago, a very perverse woman lived in an Amazonian tribe; she even ate children. To put an end to the pain she caused, the tribe decided to throw her in the river, thinking that she would drown and never return to hurt anybody else. However, Anhangá, the evil genius, decided not to let her die and married her, giving her a son. The father transformed the boy into a snake, so that it could live in the river. However, soon the snake started to grow and grow, becoming bigger and bigger...
The river became too small to shelter it and the fish were disappearing, eaten by the snake. During the night, its eyes illuminated the river like two phosphorescent headlights and the snake wandered along the rivers and beaches, stalking animals and humans in order to eat them. The terrorized tribes gave it the name Great Snake.One day the mother of Great Snake died. Its pain showed itself as such a mortal hatred that its eyes shot arrows of fire against the sky and into the darkness like sparks. After this day, the Great Snake withdrew and it is said that it lives sleeping underneath the big cities. It is also said that it only awakens to announce the summer in the sky in the shape of a Snake Eagle, or during great storms with bright lightnings to terrify the tribes. -This story came from http://www.sumauma.net/amazonian/legends/legends-cobragrande.html.