There are more than 3,000 species of snakes in the world, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Here are ten fun facts about snakes:
1. Snakes come in a wide variety of sizes, from the tiny thread snake (which is just 10 cm long) to the massive king cobra (which can grow up to 6m).
2. Some snakes can live for over 30 years.
3. All snakes are carnivores – they only eat other animals. Their diet includes rodents, birds, lizards and even other snakes.
4. Most snakes are not venomous, but those that are have highly developed venom-delivery systems which allow them to inject their prey with deadly toxins. The king cobra has enough venom to kill an elephant!
5. Snakes use their sense of smell to track down their prey – they ‘taste’ the air with their tongues to pick up scent molecules. They also have heat-sensitive pits on their faces which help them locate warm-blooded animals in the dark.
6. Snakes are excellent swimmers and many species spend a lot of time in water. Some, like the anaconda, can even stay submerged for up to 10 minutes!
8. Snakes are ectothermic animals, which means they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. They often basking in the sun or lying on warm rocks to raise their internal temperature.
9. When it’s time to shed their skin, snakes will rub against rough surfaces to loosen the old skin before wriggling out of it – this process is known as ‘ecdysis’. The snake will then eat its old skin for extra nutrients!
10. Snakes can go up to two years without eating.