Snakes use a variety of techniques and adaptations to defend themselves, including camouflage or fleeing from predators, as well as bluffing, biting and envenoming animals that threaten them. Most snakes seek to remain undetected by threatening animals and flee upon detection. However, snakes that are unable to escape may engage in a variety of defensive displays or deliver possible life-threatening bites.Know More
The world holds nearly 3,500 snake species and each displays a unique combination of defensive mechanisms and survival strategies. Most rely on camouflage as a first line of defense. Some snakes, such as copperheads of the United States and gaboon vipers of Africa camouflage so well that they are virtually invisible among the leaf litter of the forest. Others are green to match the vegetation in which they reside. Still others live underground most of their lives, usually attaining dark, earth-tone colored scales.
Some snakes are equipped with great speed that they use to escape their enemies. Many of these species are colored black so they can achieve elevated body temperatures that help these ectothermic animals to crawl their fastest. Other snakes do not attempt to flee, instead relying on bluffs and bites to protect themselves.
Many venomous snakes, such as cobras and rattlesnakes, have bold behaviors that warn potential predators of their dangerous bite. However, many harmless snakes mimic such behaviors to protect themselves, even though their bite is not venomous.Learn more about Snakes
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Snakes communicate with each other by using their well-developed vomeronasal system to collect chemical cues the other snakes emit. They also leave behind chemicals called pheromones to share information about themselves.Full Answer >
Snakes are carnivores. The specific food they consume depends upon the snakes' size, species and habitat, but their prey includes insects, eggs, mice, fish, frogs and lizards.Full Answer >