Snakes are limbless reptiles with long and cylindrical bodies with scaly skin lidless eyes and forked tongue. Most of the snake species are not poisonous, with some possessing mild poison while others are very venomous.
The term venom is used to describe the poison that is produced by a snake.
Most of the species are generally carnivorous and cold-blooded, which implies that they eat meat and their body temperature is determined by the environment they are living in rather than internal body regulation.
Types of snakes
There are over 3000 species of them around the globe and they all fall into four different categories.
Boidae is a family of snakes that include anacondas, boas, and pythons. Elapidae is a family of snakes that include coral, mambas, cobras, and kraits.
Colubridaeon the other hand comprises king, garter, water, adders and black snakes.
Lastly, Viperidae comprises true vipers as well as pit vipers.
Snakes usually mate during spring and right after the end of hibernation in colder climates while it happens anytime in the tropics.
Male snakes attract a female by fighting other males which are a ceremonial way of seeking the female’s attention.
The males do not kill each other they just try to win the fight.
Some snakes give birth to live young ones while other types of snakes lay eggs. Snakes such as rattlesnakes, garter snakes and boas give birth.
This simply means that the baby snake starts its development inside the mother. When baby snakes are born, they are covered with a goopy bag known as the membrane.
After birth, the baby will use its teeth to rip out of the membrane and wriggle out.
Snakes lay their eggs in a safe and warm place like a hollow log that is buried under the ground.
The eggs of the snakes are not hard like the chicken eggs but are kind of leathery and can be torn by the baby snakes with their egg tooth.
Certain types of snakes such as the coral and racer snake will lay their eggs and then they won’t return. Once the babies hatch, they will start to live on their own hunt their own food and survive.
Pythons and king cobras stay with their eggs keeping them warm and safe until they are ready to hatch a process known as brooding. Once they hatch the baby snakes are left on their own to survive. All snakes lose their eggs tooth just immediately after hatching.
What do you call a baby snake?
Baby snakes are known as snakelets while the newborn snakes are known as neolates and the newly hatched snakes are known as hatchlings. As mentioned earlier snakes reproduce through laying eggs while others reproduce through birth.
Snakes which reproduce by laying eggs are known as oviparous while those that give birth are known as viviparous.
Regardless of how a baby snake enters the world, newborn babies are usually smaller in size of their older counterparts.
There is a huge variation in the size of snakes depending on the species. For instance, a bay python would look like a giant if it is placed next to a hognose snake that is freshly hatched.
There are certain types of baby snakes which look like worms such as brahminy snakes.
Facts about baby snakes
The appearance of snakes varies from the time that they are babies to the time that they grow up to become adult snakes.
Each species of snakes has its own identification. Some of the facts about snakes vary depending on how they were born, the number of babies they were born and how they develop to become adults.
Ball pythons are mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa and are characterized by their relatively small size. They are docile and sweet-natured.
The females are usually gravid for about a month before laying around 6-12 eggs. They usually mate during spring however in captivity they lay eggs all year round.
Female ball pythons lay their eggs and protect them until they hatch. The hatchlings emerge after about two months and are around 10-16 months inches long.
The babies weigh around 50-100 grams on average. At a tender age, the baby pythons look exactly like there adult counterparts in terms of shape and color. They are born with pits along their tops which is used to sense the body heat of the prey.
At one year of age, the male baby python is around 30-40” long while females are around 30-50” and weigh around 500-1000g.
Corn snakes are a unique species of rat snakes that belong to the genus pantherophis are related to the grey, black and yellow rat snakes.
They can make a very fascinating pet and are breed during spring where they lay between 10and 30 eggs. After she has finished laying the eggs the mother snake vacates the nest leaving the eggs to hatch.
The hatchlings usually have a length of about 10-15 inches and weight between 6-8 grams.
The lightweight makes them very good hunters. The babies have the same body shape as the adults however they vary in color. At a tender age, their color is not vivid as they lack the orange pigmentation and appear grey between dull red saddles.
Kingsnakes belong to the genus Lampropeltis and get their name from the fact that they eat other snakes.
There are several different species of these snakes. They breed during the spring season and just like the corn snakes they abandon their eggs.
They lay a clutch of around 3-13 eggs on average. Each of the baby snakes’ measures around 8-11 inches long and weighs around 9-14 grams.
They vary depending on the species, nonetheless, most hatchlings look very similar to the adult having the same pattern, body shape, and coloration. When they reach one year old, most kingsnakes measure around 24-34 inches and weigh up to 300grams.
Milk snakes are closely related to kingsnakes and are in the same genus as Lampropeltis.
They are categorized into different subspecies where most of them are red, white and black.
They can make a very good pet since they are easy to take care of them and they can be flighty especially when young.
When the babies hatch, they are usually around 5-10inches in length and weigh between 4-8 grams. The babies resemble the adults in terms of color, body shape and pattern.
They are one of the most adorable types of snakes due to their unique defense mechanism. They roll onto their backs and play dead and develop this ability from the time of hatching.
They all look fairly similar with an upturned nose and keeled scales. They often lay large clutches of around 40 eggs at a time.
The baby hognose is between 5-9 inches in length and weigh more than 8 grams. They are born with the characteristic snout and with brown spots along their backs.
The keeled scales found in baby hognose makes them look very similar to rattlesnakes. Whenever they feel threatened, they vibrate their tails nonetheless, they are very quiet and harmless.
Boa constrictors are another type of snakes that grow up to 13 feet long. They are non-venomous are very east to take care of them.
They are viviparous in that they give birth to young ones just like mammals.
The babies develop inside the womb of their mothers and emerge when they are ready to fend for themselves.
They can give birth up to around 60 babies at once and the babies are around 14-22 inches and weigh between 50 and 60 grams. the babies look very similar to the adults in terms of coloration and body shape.
They are the most common type of snakes and you will find them in yards, lizards, rodents and hunting bags.
There are different types of species where you will find some that are dark in color and others light in color with longitudinal striping running down their back.
They are rather small and harmless and are a very nice pet.
Babies of garter snakes are extremely small are range between 6-9 inches in length.
Some of the species can have as many as 80babies at once.
The babies resemble the adults in color and pattern. Garter snakes rarely weigh more than 150 grams. when fully grown they can average between 16 to 35 inches.
Gopher snake is also known as the bull snake or pine snake is another very common snake in the wild.
They are non-venomous but have evolved to mimic the dangerous rattlesnakes. The snakes can vibrate their tails when threatened and widen their heads to appear triangular than the rattlesnakes.
They are generally comfortable with humans and can make very good pets.
They lay between 2 and 26 eggs per clutch and hatch after a period of around two months. Gopher snakes that are freshly hatched weigh around 30-40 grams. the babies closely resemble the adults in terms of color.
Want to know if snakes nurse their young? Check out the link here.