• Sarah at ZooLab

Do Snakes Fart? ...And Other Questions

In this series, we will be answering some of the most common questions about our animal team. Today, it is all about snakes!

What is a lifespan of a corn snake?

6 - 8 years in the wild but have been know to live to 15+ in captivity.

Are corn snakes dangerous?

No. Corn snakes are nonvenomous, docile creatures but like all animals, may strike if they feel threatened (however, this is rare).

Are snakes deaf?

As snakes have no external ears, they don't hear sound the way we do. Snakes feel sound through vibrations that travel from their jaw to inner ear bones. Snakes have an extraordinary sense of smell (they smell by flicking their tongue) that compensates for their limited hearing and bad eyesight.

Do all snakes shed their skin?

Yes! Like most creatures (including us), snakes shed their skin as they grow and unlike us, theirs normally comes off in one piece. Shedding helps snakes remove parasites on their scales. The amount a snake sheds varies depending on age. On average a snake will shed 2/4 times a year - however, young snakes may shed every few weeks.

Do snakes blink?

No. Snakes have no eyelids, so can't blink, wink or close their eyes! Snakes have scales called brille covering their eyes that helps to protect from dirt, debris and other ground born hazards. When a snake sheds, they will also regenerate the brille.

Do snakes have bones?

Yes, 200-400 vertebrae with as many ribs attached!

What snakes are in the UK?

There are three species of snake native to the UK: grass snake (England and Wales), smooth snake (Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey) and adder (mainland UK) .

The adder is the UK's only venomous snake and while bites are very rare, a small number do happen each year (more info). However, with this being said the UK's snakes are all elusive in nature and shy away from humans - if you are lucky, you may catch a glance of once basking on a hot summer day.

What do snakes eat in the rainforest?

All snakes are carnivorous! In the rainforest, snakes (depending on the species) will eat fish, lizards, birds and mammals - some will even snack on crocodiles!