Q:

Can snakes see?

A:

Quick Answer

Most snakes can see, but different species of snakes see in different levels of detail. Some snakes even have a second form of sight using specially evolved receptors to detect heat.

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Full Answer

Most underground snakes have poor vision, usually just enough to tell the difference between light and dark. If a snake primarily lives on the surface, its vision is usually sharp, and it has excellent depth perception. Some snakes have evolved pit organs, which see heat in the same way as infrared goggles do. If a snake has these organs, it can use either its eyes or the pit organs at any time, and it can use both at the same time.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are all snakes venomous?

    A:

    Not all snakes are venomous, but even nonvenomous snakes are subject to strike if they feel frightened or sense danger. In North America, an easy way to determine if a snake is poisonous is to look at its pupils. With the exception of the coral snake, the pupils of poisonous snakes are elliptical or slit-like, much like the eyes of a cat, while the pupils of a non-venomous snake are round.

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  • Q:

    How do snakes slither?

    A:

    Snakes slither by using their scales as friction hooks to latch onto rough surfaces and propel themselves. They also shift their weight around, concentrating it in a way that allows them to move. Some snakes may have individual muscle control over their scales that allows them to move rapidly.

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  • Q:

    How do snakes breathe?

    A:

    Snakes breathe by moving the muscles that surround the ribcage. They lack the diaphragm that drives the respiratory process of mammals. A muscular contraction pushes air out of the lungs. When the muscles relax, the lungs fill with air.

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  • Q:

    How are snakes born?

    A:

    Most snakes hatch from eggs outside of the mother. While a small number of snake species give birth to live snakes rather than laying eggs, all snake eggs are internally fertilized when snakes mate. After mating, some snakes lay their eggs immediately, while others carry the eggs around, laying them only when it is time for the eggs to hatch.

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