You read about snakes regularly and think, “What the hell is that?” But then you see them, and all of a sudden, everything makes more sense. These creatures are so fantastic that they’ll slither their way into your heart. Here are seven cool snakes that will make you fall in love with them all over again.
The king cobra
This snake is not only beautiful but also extremely dangerous. Its venom is the most lethal of all species and is about 3 to 4 meters long. Its color ranges from dark brown to yellow-green, and its trademark is its exquisite hood.
Its color ranges from dark brown to yellow-green, and its trademark is its exquisite hood.
- The tropical country of the Philippines is home to the spitting cobra, the second most venomous of the family.
- Another species of spitting cobra, common in Africa, can spit its venom up to thirty to forty times in a row (see 15 Fun Facts about Africa).
- King Cobras can control the dose of venom injected when they bite. Moreover, they often bite without any venom if the victim is not suitable for them as food. A bite from this snake is, therefore, not always fatal.
- Among the variety of cobras, three species are spitting ones.
- Cobra mating can last for several days.
- Rivaling each other, cobras always adopt a fighting stance when they meet. The taller one always wins.
- They grow throughout life and sometimes live up to thirty years. Large specimens can measure longer than four meters.
- These king snakes never eat their prey while still alive. Having bitten it, they wait until the victim is dead and only then swallow it.
- Most cobras of different species are found in Africa and Southeast Asia.
- Unlike other cool snakes, cobras often eat snakes of other popular species. Sometimes its victims are even venomous congeners.
- Newborn snakes are already venomous but have little venom, so they prey on insects or other small prey (see interesting facts about insects).
- Unlike most other reptiles, they build nests and take care of babies.
- It is said to have an excellent memory and can tell the difference between someone who has caught it and everyone else.
- Unlike other cool snakes, the cobra controls the dose of venom. It often bites people without venom at all so as not to waste it on someone who is not food.
The rainbow boa
This awesome member of the reptile family lives in Central and South America. Its scales are usually bright red, but in the sun, they shimmer in all the rainbow colors.
Reptile reach about two meters in length, swim well and feed on small mammals such as voles.
- The Brazilian rainbow boa, or Aboma, is a member of the smooth-bellied boa constrictor genus and is a close relative of the anaconda. It is a non-venomous snake found in the tropical regions of South America. It can be found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins and on the Caribbean islands closest to the continent, such as Tobago and Trinidad.
- Abomas are large snakes, with adults reaching 1.5 to 2 meters in length. These rainbow snakes are so named for their incredible color, which is particularly striking when the snake is in the sun. The color of the main background of the pelt is reddish-brown or beige, with circles of bright yellow-orange in the background.
- This boa species is a viviparous snake, which means they do not lay eggs but produce baby snakes after five months of gestation. The snake is an excellent swimmer, so rivers or lakes are not an obstacle in their way. Like most snakes, the abomas are active during the day’s dark hours and prefer to spend the daytime in hiding. Their diet consists mainly of small birds, lizards, and rodents.
- Interestingly, this snake, like all representatives of the false-footed family to which they belong, has a somewhat different skeletal structure from other snakes. The point is that they have retained rudiments of the pelvis and hind limbs, which, of course, does not manifest itself in any way in the external appearance. For this reason, the family is called false-footed.
- Due to their unusual coloration and quiet disposition, reptiles have become very popular among reptile enthusiasts. They are easy to handle and breed well in captivity and can therefore be kept in zoos and domestic terrariums. Their lifespan is about 20 years, but they can live longer if well-kept in captivity.
- These boas begin breeding in the wild at 3-4 years old.
- The males tend to court their mate for a few hours, and the snakes entwine their hindquarters when she is ready to mate.
- The mating process is repeated about 3-4 times, 1-2 weeks apart.
- These reptiles have an excellent appetite. They enjoy eating rats, mice, and birds. They do not refuse live food, kill food or even thawed food.
- These snakes are calm and aggressive only when they are young, but only at first. As they get older, their disposition becomes much more relaxed.
The Belcher is a sea snake. It lives in the salty waters of Indonesia. Generally, Belchers are friendly, but if angered, they are very aggressive and poisonous. The Belcher has a striped coloration that allows it to hide unnoticed among the algae. And in the crystal clear water, it looks incredible.
- One of the most dangerous snakes in the world is the Belcher snake, the most venomous sea snake. A single bite can kill up to 1000 people!
- The venom of sea snakes is known to be more toxic than that of land snakes. This is because cold-blooded animals, which include fish, are less sensitive to venom than warm-blooded animals.
- Humans rarely suffer from a Belcher snake bite. For one thing, the reptile is peaceful. It prefers to use its weapons when hunting. Secondly, if the most dangerous snake of the water depths uses venom for self-defense, it releases only a quarter of its “supply.”
- It is found in the Indian Ocean.
- Known to science as Hydrophis belcheri, the snake is found off New Guinea and the Philippines, the northwest coastline of Australia, and the Solomon Islands.
- The snake, whose LD-50 index is 0.0001 mg, was named after Edward Belcher, a British researcher.
- The Belcher snake is not well known among the general public because it is a quiet snake, so attacks are rare. The characteristics of the snake’s venom are still not fully understood, and it is not considered dangerous.
- Most often from a bite of a sea snake, Belcher suffered fishermen, pulling the catch out of the water with a net and not noticing the entangled snake. But even such cases did not always end tragically – in most cases, the snake did not inject all of its venoms, so the victims, ¾ of the people, survived.
The rough tree viper
This green snake resembles a shaggy reptile, but you must be careful. Beauty in the wild is often deceptive. Despite its unusual scales and picturesque coloring, the snake is deadly poisonous to humans. So if you see one, it’s best not to get tactilely acquainted.
- The rufous viper is active at night and rests in the tree canopy during the day, basking in the sunlight. It is most active in high humidity during the rainy season.
- The reptile is aggressive and sensitive to any stimuli, and when natural enemies appear, it often dares to attack them, inflicting fatal bites.
- On small mammals, the venom acts very quickly. In mice, 11 milligrams of the toxic substance are ingested, killing them instantly. The poison primarily destroys blood cells and causes internal bleeding. In parallel, it acts on the nervous system, provoking severe seizures.
- The venom of the green tree viper is not considered too dangerous for humans due to the small doses it injects into the victim’s body. Only a few bites cause serious health consequences to the victims, and only one fatality has been officially recorded.
- The diet is based on various species of mice belonging to the genera Dendroma, Mastomys, and Leggado. Young Vipers also prey on lizards and small snakes, while adults (especially males) manage to hunt birds successfully for dinner.
- This reptile prefers to stand in ambush, leaning down from a tree branch 1-2 m above the ground and attacking rodents and other small victims. In the same posture, it absorbs water, condenses on its hanging body and runs down to its head.
- Much less frequently, the snake descends to the ground surface and waits for prey by hiding in the grass or forest floor.
San Francisco garter snake – one of the cool snakes living in America
The pattern on the body of this snake resembles lace, which is why these representatives are called “garter snakes.” Their color can be completely different, as well as all sorts of patterns. They are also completely harmless, so they are often kept as pet snakes.
- This snake is also known as the garden snake.
- It is a member of the Acetobacter family and has many color variations.
- It is considered an American variety of the harmless snakes we are familiar with.
- You can meet this reptile in North and Central America: Canada, Mexico, USA. They prefer to live in the plains but can also be found in the mountains and deciduous and coniferous forests. They often settle in humid climates, in the vicinity of bodies of water, and live in the area of human habitation.
- Often the habitat area depends on the subspecies.
- The Butler’s Garter Snake is found in the USA, while the Contanta prefers the hot climate of Mexico.
- The garden snake is a daytime resident, hiding in burrows or between rocks at night. During the winter hibernates, from which it is inactive for 14 days. Its average life span is up to 10 years.
- The Garden Beetle uses tadpoles and frogs, shrews, snails, small birds, and newts as food. They may also eat mice, salamanders, lizards, and fish. Worms and insects are also not uncommon foods for this cute pet snake.
- They have a defense mechanism they use in danger – they withdraw the stinking liquid from the cloaca.
The Horned Viper
Despite its horns and aggressive appearance, this good snake is very friendly. It will not attack a human first and will bite solely in self-defense. Its scales rise upwards to resemble sharp prickles. The viper lives in the deserts of North Africa; during the day, it sleeps by burying itself in the sand. So when walking on the African sands, look carefully under your feet.
- A venomous snake 60-80 cm long, with a thick body and a sharply tapered short tail.
- It has one sharp vertical scale protruding above the eyes, which vary in length.
- The scales on the sides of the body are finer than the dorsal scales, strongly keeled, and directed obliquely downward to form a saw-like pattern that runs along each side.
- The coloration of the Horned Viper is sandy yellow with dark brown spots along the back and on both sides of the body.
- The entire Sahara Desert, as well as nearby slopes, dry savannahs, and the Arabian Peninsula, are home to this snake. During the day, it burrows in the sand or hides in rodent burrows, and after dark, it goes out to hunt small rodents and birds.
- The juveniles feed on locusts and lizards. These snakes move “sideways,” throwing forward and sideways the back half of the body and pulling the front part to it. Thus, not a single trace remains in the sand, but separate oblique strips at an angle of 40-60° to the direction of movement, as when “throwing” forward, the snake does not touch the ground in the middle of the body, leaning only on the front and rear ends of the body. While moving, the snake periodically changes its body’s ‘working side,’ moving forward on its left or right side.
- Horned vipers’ main predators are honey badgers and feral cats.
- When confronted with danger, the viper twists its body and makes a coarse sound by rubbing its keel scales together. It also hisses and inflates its body to make it look bigger.
- The mating season for horned vipers is from April to June. Snakes find mating partners through their sense of smell (they can sense pheromones). Horned vipers mate in the sand.
- After mating, the female reptiles usually lays 8 to 20 soft-shelled eggs in abandoned burrows under rocks or in the ground. The incubation period for these animals lasts 6 to 8 weeks until the young hatch. Horned vipers that are young reach sexual maturity at two years old.
- Horned vipers can survive for 14 to 18 years in the wild.
Jameson’s mamba (green mamba)
Unlike other reptiles, the mamba has a burnt green coloration, which allows it to hide better in tropical foliage. It usually sits in ambush for a long time before attacking quickly and deadly. However, its venom is extremely dangerous, so be careful when tripping through the jungle.
- The average length of an adult ranges from 1.8 to 2.1 meters. The largest specimens reach 2.4 m in length.
- The head of the green mamba is narrow and elongated and flows smoothly into the body.
- When the snake holds its neck vertically in the air, the neck can be somewhat flattened, but the “hood,” as in cobras, is not developed. The pupils are rounded, and the iris is brownish-yellow. The upper body of the green mamba is bright yellowish-green to green with yellow leading edges of scales. It is not uncommon to see snakes with the back of their body and tails almost entirely yellow. Some specimens have scales bordered by a black reticulated diamond-shaped pattern. Patches of black skin between the scales are particularly well-developed on the head and tail. The upper part of the head is painted either the same as the front part of the body or slightly darker. The lower part of the head, throat, belly, and underbelly is pale yellow or yellowish-green.
- It is both arboreal and terrestrial. It is most active during daylight hours but sometimes hunts at night.
- The mamba rests in a dense crown, which is hardly visible against the foliage. The green mamba is a very mobile and fast snake.
- It avoids human contact if possible and tries to flee when it comes into contact with humans.
- Its venom contains fast-acting neurotoxins that can cause tissue necrosis and systemic paralysis. A snake bite victim can be fatal if no antidote is administered immediately.
- It feeds on birds and small mammals such as mice, rats, and squirrels, as well as bats, white-bellied lizards, shrews, lizards, and frogs, and ravages bird nests. When hunting, the snake stalks and repeatedly bites its prey until its venom kills it.
More cool snakes you can find below: