There are currently more than 3,000 species of snakes on earth. You can find them in almost every country except a few others like Antarctica, New Zealand, and Iceland
There are about 600 venomous species, and only about seven percent can kill or wound a human. Their victims are either smothered to death or injected with venom that can kill a man in minutes. They bite up to a million people each year.
Now, here comes a crucial question.
What is a group of Snakes Called?
There are diverse names you can use to describe a group of snakes. However, the most common include den, bed, pit, and nest. This is except for rattlesnakes which are called a knot or Rhumba.
Other collective nouns exist for snakes, such as; a bunch or family of snakes. People tend to use these names as they appeal to them.
Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of these names;
Den of Snakes:
A den is simply an animal shelter. Snakes make their dens by hiding in sand or holes in a tree.
Bed of Snakes:
This is a metaphorical term used to refer to a gathering of snakes.
Bunch of Snakes:
This term adequately describes a group of snakes bundled together, especially when consuming heat.
Family of Snakes:
Snakes are popularly known as good parents to their young ones. This phenomenon has earned them the group name; a family of snakes.
Why Do Snakes Group Together?
Snakes are naturally solitary animals and not social. So, you might wonder why they need to stay or move in groups. One solid reason for this is Hibernation- this is typical behavior among cold-blooded animals. Another name for this is Brumating. And when this period starts, it slows down the snakes. They’ll appear to be asleep.
Some snakes brumate in large groups to conserve heat, while others are in groups during the mating process. Female snakes release a hormone called “pheromone,” which attracts the male snakes. In this process, the male snakes gather around the female in a mating ball. This is common among Garter snakes and Green anacondas.
Rattlesnakes also move in groups, especially mothers and young. When a mother snake gives birth to her young ones, she stays with them for a few weeks after birth. An exception to this is venomous snakes. They are reclusive, and when found in groups, it is never intentional. It is sometimes because they fall into holes or are placed there by humans.
Some Interesting Facts About Snakes
- There are currently over 3000 species of Snakes
- Snakes are carnivorous animals. They can eat animals four times larger than their heads and mouths.
- Snakes do not have eyelids.
- Instead of chewing, Snakes swallow their prey because they do not have teeth.
- The Snakes tongue is highly sensitive and used to detect nearby prey.
- An average snake sheds its skin 8-10 times in a single year, and this process may take days. Snakes shed their old skin to make way for a new one.
- Snakes protect their territory by a fight for or against each other. The male snakes also fight their counterparts to mate with the females.
- It might surprise you to know that snakes fear large-sized birds, foxes, and raccoons.
- Pythons can eat large animals such as elephants, cows, and humans inclusive.
- An estimate of 50,000 people die every year from a snake bite. You’d be shocked to discover that snakes only bite humans when they are afraid but don’t eat them.
- A weird practice among female anacondas is the fact that they eat their mating partners. This action helps with the gestation process. Sometimes they can eat more than one male.
Social Life Of Snakes
Interestingly, snakes are not social animals. Snakes usually don’t like being in the company of their kind. They are aggressive to one another and prefer to be alone.
They only socialize when they desire to mate or want to hibernate. Even at this point, you can still sense the heated atmosphere and aggression they have for each other.
However, the Garter snakes are a social species. They love to meet up and play with one another. They even exhibit friendships amongst their kind.
Can You Keep Snakes As Pets?
Well, contrary to popular opinion, snakes make good pets. But this in itself is tricky. A lot of Snake keepers tame and raise snakes by keeping them in terrariums.
If you ever consider having a pet snake, you should choose from the Garter Snake, Ball Python, Corn Snake, California Kingsnake, and the Western Hognose Snake. These are the most docile.
Snakes are also low maintenance and require minimal space for habitation. They feed once every 14 days. If given proper care, some snakes can live up to 40 years or more.
When you finally accept a snake into your house for the first time, it is likely to be nervous and afraid. At this point, you need to ensure that you do not cause undue stress to your pet snake.
Five Points To Consider When Getting A Pet Snake
Getting a pet snake is a huge decision. You must ensure that it is a well-thought-out process. Some of the points to consider include;
Snakes do not feed on regular food. They feed majorly on rodents and their sorts. How would you source the food? Would you be comfortable storing them in your refrigerator?
The terrarium you create for your pet snake should be able to mimic its natural habitat. It will make sense if you pay close attention to the temperature and humidity of your make-shift habitat. Snakes need a proper level of moisture to aid the shedding process.
Raising any pet would require a good level of care. For instance, you would need to keep the snake’s terrarium clean regularly. This would imply that you might need a second terrarium to alternate each time you need to clean.
Snakes can live up to or more than 30 years. So, adopting a snake is a lot like marriage- It is a lifelong commitment. It would make sense if you were sure that you are ready to make this commitment.
You might want to consider how your pet snake’s lifestyle affects yours. Some snakes are nocturnal; this would mean that you would have to plan to stay up late to spend time with your pet. Others are daily, which means you would have to make time in the day for your pet snake. Are you ready for such huge commitments?
How Snakes Hunt For Food
The first thing snakes do before eating is to ascertain the nature of their environment. They flick their forked tongues around their environment to smell. Their smelling lets them know if food or danger is lurking around the corner.
The Snake uses other mechanisms to detect food. They make use of the openings in front of their eyes to sense the heat from warm-blooded animals. They use the bones in their lower jaw to pick up vibrations from scurrying animals such as rodents.
Once the Snake captures prey, it holds the game in its mouth by placing it in its teeth and keeping it trapped.
Some Snake Habits
Snakes are known to shed their skin once every month in a process called “ecdysis.” This process allows them to stretch and equally get rid of parasites. In ecdysis, the Snake rubs its skin against a tree bark or any other hard object. It lets out the skin headfirst and leaves it discarded inside-out.
Some Snakes give birth to their young ones alive such as sea snakes, while the others lay eggs. Many of these egg-laying snakes do not pay any attention to their eggs, except Pythons, who spend time incubating their eggs.
We have roughly a hundred snake species currently listed as endangered, primarily due to habitat loss from developmental policies.
What Are Sea Snakes?
A significant quota of snakes lives primarily on land. However, an estimate of about 70 snake species lives in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. A similar species to the sea snakes are their cousins, called; “Kraits.”
Sea snakes happen to be among the most venomous snakes around. They are not much of a threat to humans because of their gentle and shy nature. Their fangs are equally too short and unable to cause any harm.
Warning About Snakes In Groups
It is advisable not to interrupt or interfere with any group of snakes. Snakes tend to be very aggressive and defensive. So, when next you see a group of snakes, please let them be.
What then is the fuss about snakes? Unlike several myths, snakes are not as terrible as you must have heard. Information plays a very vital role in understanding the behavioral nature of these creatures.
Like humans and most animals, snakes often need the support of their kind. They need this support to stay warm, mate and remain protected. Snakes are not completely bad in themselves. But we can say that they are a necessary evil.
So, with the new information garnered, it should be easy to interpret the next group of snakes you encounter.
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