Friday, October 13, 2006

Snake myths, snake truths

Snakes get a bad rap. Just because a few are dangerous doesn't mean they're all bad (in fact, many snakes are beneficial). Here are some common misconceptions about snakes that you may or may not hold yourself.

Snakes swallow their young to protect them. What actually happens is that some snakes (the garter snake, for example) carry their eggs internally until they are ready to hatch so that the babies are born live.

Counting the rattles on a rattlesnake will give you its age -- one rattle per year. Actually, rattlesnakes gain a new rattle each time they shed, which can happen several times a year. It is also not uncommon for rattles to break off. So counting rattles is not a reliable way of guessing a snake's age.

Snakes can only strike from a coiled position. Not true. A snake can strike from any position.

Some snakes hypnotize or "charm" their prey. There is no scientific evidence of this whatsoever. Some small animals do freeze when they're scared, so they may give the appearance of being 'charmed'.

Snakes are slimy. Snakes are dry and either smooth or scaly.

Hoop snakes make a hoop by fastening their tail in their mouth and then rolling. Believe it or not, there's no such thing as a hoop snake.

Snakes can jump up to two feet. Snakes can't jump at all.

Snakes always travel in pairs. Only during mating season will you see pairs of snakes.

Snakes suck milk from cows and goats. Milk snakes do go into barns, but they're looking for rodents to eat, not milk.

Reference: Ohio Public Library Information Network; texas; Davidson College


Anonymous Ramesh said...

Thanks for your valuable information.

It was really of use to me.

7:29 PM  
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7:18 PM  

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