Snakes, like any other animal, need food for sustenance. They are classified as carnivores thus their diet comprises other animal species found within their habitats. Snakes’ diet depends directly on where they live. Furthermore, they have different body types which make them vary on which type of food they take.
Some snakes consume insects and amphibians while others feed on the warm-blooded prey. Snakes can also be fed by their owners usually in the snake parks or cages. A whole pre-killed prey such as rats, mice and fish can be subjected to the snakes to eat.
This article will be discussing interesting facts about the snakes, where they are likely to live, which food they eat and how much they eat per day.
Where Do Snakes Live?
Snakes live in a wide variety of habitats including forests, land, water bodies and deserted regions. The environment in which the snake lives varies with the type of snake.
Most snakes are found on land as the habitat is wide with food. Those that live in the sea are very venomous and are cousins to the kraits. Tropical forests are home to the largest snakes in the world. They spend most time on trees while hunting prey. Some living in permanent waters are good swimmers living in lakes, rivers and swamps. They can be able to stay under water for about 30 minutes without distractions.
Snakes are reptiles classified as ectotherms. Ectotherms have the ability to change or regulate their own body temperature in relation to its environment. During the day the snakes bask in the sun in order to regulate their inner body temperature while in cold weather they move to cooler regions. During the winter season they go into hibernation.
Snakes can also live in shelters such as under sand, under stones, tree joints and in the bushes, which poses a bait to the prey. They then use the advantage to hunt the prey with ease and also hide from other enemies.
How Do Snakes Get Their Food?
Some of the snakes are active predators and get their food by hunting by use of their tongues which help them track down the prey easily while others are fed by their owners who put the prey in an enclosed region for them to feed.
Some snakes such as the vipers and python use their forked tongues to ambush other animals for food. They have a forked tongue that can be able to detect smells in order to find approaching enemies of food. These snakes have long and thick bodies so that they can strike the prey quickly, coil and suffocate an animal. Long and narrow snakes also get to be fast and agile when taking down the prey. The python may sit in one spot for long without moving sighting for any prey to pass. Some snakes such as Asian vine have binocular vision which helps it sight any approaching prey from any angle.
Snakes lack the eyelids which they use as an advantage when sleeping with their eyes wide open targeting any prey passing. They also have no nostrils; therefore, they do not need them to smell.
Snakes have the ability to swallow the entire prey since they are not equipped by the right kind of teeth for chewing. Swallowing process is done by their lower jaw in a slow manner, suffocating the prey. After swallowing a big prey, the snake may go into hiding for long to allow digestion to take place effectively. However, the newborn snakes eat tiny prey such as crickets, earthworms, eggs and insects which can fit their mouth.
How Much Do Snakes Eat Per Day?
Large and more mature snakes eat once every week or two while younger and smaller ones take their meal at least twice a day. Some snakes may eat more food than their weight after going hungry for long.
How much a snake eats depends on various factors such as age, activity level, the type of snake, its last meal location, pregnancy period and size. A female snake eats more when near its breeding period. Those young and smaller snakes need more food in order to accelerate their body growth and also take care of the consumed energy. Large and big snakes have the ability to store fats and energy on their body. The smaller ones do not have the ability to store energy since they are constantly using it to ensure growth.
Snakes usually should not be fed more often. It is recommended to feed your snake with pre-killed prey so as to avoid any injuries to the snake’s body. Live prey may cause physical damages to the snakes before they are eaten. The prey should not be more than the diameter of the snake.
Do Snakes Eat Humans?
Yes, though it is a rare occurrence some snakes can eat humans. The African rock pythons, Burmese pythons, green anacondas and reticulated pythons are some of the snakes capable of swallowing large prey.
Only a few cases of these have been proven. These types of snakes which eat humans swallow them whole and are able to grow a snake up to 20 feet. A person with about 47 Kgs and with a height of 5’4’’ poses a risk to the snake since they find it hard to swallow them whole. They kill humans by easily constricting them. Pythons have the ability to sense the heartbeat of the prey they are taking. Male olive sea snakes are likely to attack people under the water.
Some snakes are poisonous, and when they bite they cause excruciating pain to the victim. The black mambas are the deadliest of all the snakes. They have lethal venom and move very fast when on the human’s body. They are found in savannah woodlands and tree branches where they can attack any prey and go to hide for long.