You often think that the legless squirmers will get tangled in their tail and fall flat on their face. But they don’t. These marvelous wonders just wriggle their way through. Actually most of their body looks like a tail except their head. They don’t have any legs or fins or wing so how do they move from one place to another?
Have you noticed scales on their bodies? Scales are the ones that help the snakes move. The scales on the underside of the snakes push against the ground. Gracefully twisting and turning they glide over the grass, logs and rocks. They might look slimy and slippery but they are not. Their skin actually feels like soft leather.
The snakes do not have eyelids or external ears. However, they do have internal ears that make them different from their cousins, the legless lizards. There is a folklore in India that the snake charmers in India lure the snakes out of their hiding by the sound of a musical instrument (been) but it is untrue as the snakes can’t hear the sound they just react to the moving “been“.
Another thing that makes snakes very different from us is their skin. When we grow our skin grows with us, but snakes have to actually shed their old skin because it does not grow with the snake. As the snake grows its skin becomes tighter and tighter until it crawls out of its old skin and comes out with a shiny new one. Some snakes shed their skin once a year while others do it many times an year. Wow!
Snakes are as scared of us as we are of them, so unless you are in their way they will not hurt you. They only attack humans if they feel threatened for their life otherwise they will just wriggle away. They don’t like to be in the cold weather as their bodies become stiff and they are unable to crawl. Most of them hibernate in the cold weather. Most snakes live on the land, some prefer trees and a very few live in the water. They will eat anything that is not vegetarian. For example: Grasshoppers, bugs, frogs, squirrels, birds, eggs. Some bigger ones can also eat goats and deer if they are fast enough to catch them.
A very interesting fact about snakes is that sometimes the eggs hatch inside the mother snake’s body while some just leave the eggs in the leaves or the sand to hatch.
While snakes are hunting these smaller animals, some of the other animals are hunting them. Eagles, owls, hawks are their worst enemies. Wild hogs and mongoose stamp on them to catch them. Sometimes one snake fights the other snake.
Snakes are really marvelous and dangerous creatures. Just remember a few things if you do visit a snake country.
- Don’t pick up logs or rocks for a snake might be hiding underneath.
- Carry a stick to poke in the bushes for that will scare away the snakes.
- Wear high boots in the snake country, that ways you can protect yourself.
- Don’t go wading in the unknown waters for some poisonous snakes might be swimming nearby.