Snakes are reptiles who have an elongated body, no legs or wings and are carnivorous in nature. Snakes fall under the order Squamata and then under the suborder Serpentes. These reptiles are able to scare the living soul of human beings as some species are venomous, but not all. Snakes can survive on land or water, depending upon the species.
Out of 2900 species of snakes, around 600 are venomous. The non venomous snakes attack their prey by strangling them with their body and swallowing them alive. Due to this very reason, understanding the life cycle of a snake is intriguing. In this article, we are going to look closely at the life cycle of a snake. The scales on a snake helps it to capture moisture in dry areas and for easy mobility while traveling.
Life Cycle of a Snake:
1) The Egg – Stage 1 –
After the male and female snakes have mated, the female snake stores the male sperm in her oviduct for 1 or 2 months. After fertilization, the female snake lays large but soft leather-like, white colored eggs. The female snake is capable of producing and laying 10 to 15 fertilized eggs. The eggs are primarily guarded by the female snake till the eggs hatch. The time period for the species differs in species depending upon the favourable environmental conditions.
2) Young Snake (Snakelet) – Stage 2 –
Once the embryo inside the egg develops, it hatches young snakes known as snakelets. These snakelets emerge from the eggs from sufficient heat or by breaking the egg shell with their teeth. These young snakes feed on tinier reptiles and rodents. In this stage, snakelets shed their skin four times a year, in order to become bigger and enter the adult stage in their life. Through these four stages of molting the young snake serves two purposes. One reason is to remove the old and dry skin and the second is to remove any parasites residing on the old skin.
3) Adult Snake – Stage 3 –
When a snakelet enters the adult stage, it becomes mature sexually within a span of 2 to 3 years. Unlike the young snakelets, an adult snake sheds skin only one or two times a year. A young snake sheds its skin four times a year. From here, the adult snake begins the series of hunting down prey for feeding and survival.
The highly intimidating reptile, the adult snake starts a series of hunting down prey for food sources. Even though snakes are a category of reptiles with 6,000 different species under them, they all are carnivorous. All snakes feed on insects, lizards, frogs, birds, eggs of other animals, snails and so on.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Snake Life Cycle
How to tell the difference between venomous snakes and non venomous snakes?
The venomous snakes are large and fat in size while non venomous snakes are small and average size. The eyes of non venomous snakes are round while the eyes of venomous snakes are similar to that of a cat’s eyes. The heads of venomous snakes are triangular in shape, while non venomous snakes have more round shaped heads.
What is the name of the world’s longest venomous snake?
King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake.
What is the name of the organ snakes use to smell and taste?
Jacobson’s organ is the organ snakes use to smell and taste items near them.
What time during the day are snakes active?
Snakes are mostly active during the day and especially during summers, as they go out to get heat. They are inactive during the night and only rattlesnakes are able to hunt in resting coiled position with its tail.