Celebrating One of The Most Misunderstood Creatures on Earth

Snakes are seriously the most misunderstood of all creatures on planet Earth, and they are found all over the world. There is a huge variety of snakes and some are venomous while most are non-venomous and they vary in length too. There are around 3,600 species of snakes, and as per the area they inhabit they come in various colours and types. Some areas worship snakes, while others rear them or hunt them for their meat and skin. But whatever the reason, today is World Snake Day, a day we can learn and understand them. Also Read – Nag Panchami 2020: When is it Celebrated And What is The Significance of Worshipping Snakes

Live snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica, and the smallest of these reptiles is the Barbados thread snake, which is about 10.4 cm long. The biggest is the reticulated python which can grow up to 22.8 feet in length, though there have been lengthier versions like the fossil species Titanoboa cerrejonensis which were 42 feet long. The heaviest among them all is the green anaconda, which measures about 17.1 feet long.

Of the 3,600 species of snakes, only about 600 are venomous, and as per the World Health Organization, only about 200 pose a serious risk to human life. Snakes are usually shy creatures and would try to slither away from humans, and the ones that are venomous prefer to use their venom to subdue and kill prey than to use it for self defence. Though the venom is known to cause painful injury or death to humans.

How World Snake Day came about is not known, but the day highlights some of the important facts about snakes like their eating and sleeping habits. Snakes are known to swallow their prey whole, and so when they come across one that is bigger than their heads, they separate their upper and lower jaw to accommodate the meal.

Snakes use their forked tongues to smell the air around them, and since they do not have ears, they are alerted by the vibrations on the ground. They shed their skin or scales often, and it is believed that they do so to allow them to grow, as well as help them replace old worn out skin and dispose of parasites. The arrangement of scales is used to identify snake species.

Most snakes are nocturnal and come out only in the night to hunt, and they are also cold-blooded, which means they have to sun themselves to regulate their body temperatures. When it comes to having babies, most snakes lay eggs and some give live birth.

These animals are not all bad as the venom from snakes is used for anti-tumor treatments and for other medical purposes. And in areas that are infested with rats and other rodents, snakes keep them in check by eating them.

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