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Snake Features, Facts, and Records: Fascinating Reptiles

Linda Crampton is a writer and experienced science teacher with an honors degree in biology. She enjoys writing about science and nature.

A beautiful emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus)

A beautiful emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus)

Interesting and Impressive Organisms

Snakes have some very interesting features. They slither over or under the ground, swim in the ocean or fresh water, climb trees, or glide through the air, depending on the species. Their elongated, legless, and scaled bodies are well-adapted for their lifestyle. All snakes have the same basic body structure and functions, but some have specialized features that are often strange or surprising.

Snakes are carnivores and hunt for prey. Some inject the prey with venom as they bite them. The venom travels through a channel in the teeth or down a groove on the outside of the teeth. Unfortunately, the animals may bite humans when they feel threatened. The venom of some snakes is potentially deadly for us. Luckily, the venomous species comprise only a small proportion of the total snake population.

Two amelanistic Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus)

Two amelanistic Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus)

Sense Organs of the Reptiles

Snakes have bad to good eyesight. The so-called blind snakes spend much of their time burrowing underground. Their eyes are covered with opaque scales. They can distinguish light from dark but can't see an image (as far as we can tell). Other snakes do see images, and some have good vision. The animals don't have eyelids, however.

All snakes flick their forked tongues in and out of their mouths repeatedly as they explore their surroundings. The tongue picks up molecules from the air and inserts them into a structure called the Jacobson's organ in the roof of the mouth. This enables a snake to detect chemicals in its environment. The organ is named after a Danish scientist called Ludvig Levin Jacobson (1783–1843). He discovered the organ in 1811. The structure is also known as the vomeronasal organ.

Snakes have nostrils, which send air to the lung (or lungs) and to an organ of smell. The right lung of a snake is functional and the left lung is often reduced and vestigial. The animals don't have a visible, external ear flap, but they do have an inner ear that detects vibrations that are transmitted through the body.

The members of the pit viper group have an additional sense organ. They have a pit on each side of their head between their eye and their nostril. The pits can detect infrared radiation, or heat. This helps a snake to detect the presence of warm-blooded prey nearby.

A ridge-nosed rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi), with one of its pits clearly visible

A ridge-nosed rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi), with one of its pits clearly visible

The Smallest Snake

The smallest snake in the world is believed to be the Barbados threadsnake, or Leptotyphlops carlae. It has an average length of four inches and is no wider that a strand of spaghetti. The snake has a shiny surface and is one of the blind snakes. Some people might mistake this animal for an earthworm, but it has the body structure of a snake.

The Barbados threadsnake was discovered in 2008 by Dr. Blair Hedges from Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife found specimens living under rocks in a forest. The snake is thought to feed on termites and their eggs. As its name suggests, it has been found in Barbados, a Caribbean nation and island.

We are still discovering new organisms and new examples of known organisms. It's possible that some different snakes may one day claim the records described in this article or that the records themselves may change.

The Longest Snake

The longest snake in the world is the reticulated python, or Malayopython reticulatus. This species may reach a length of thirty feet or more, but most individuals are shorter. The animal is nonvenomous and is a constrictor. It coils around its prey, preventing the animal from breathing and suffocating it.

The snake lives in Asia. The "reticulated" part of its name comes from the beautiful net-like pattern on its skin. The skin has both light and dark patterns. This helps to disguise the animal as it slithers through the partially-lit understory of the forest.

A tiger reticulated python is bred for its distinct surface pattern.

A tiger reticulated python is bred for its distinct surface pattern.

The Heaviest and Thickest Snake

The heaviest and thickest snake in the world is the green anaconda, or Eunectes murinus. The animal may reach 550 pounds in weight, 12 inches in diameter, and 29 feet in length. Females are larger than males. The species is olive green in colour and has black blotches. Some of the blotches on its side have a yellow centre. The colours help the snake to blend in with the vegetation in the tropical rain forest.

The green anaconda lives in South America. It spends much of its time in the slow-moving water bodies in its habitat, such as swamps and sluggish steams. It’s a good swimmer. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, it can stay underwater for as long as ten minutes. It isn't venomous and kills its prey (mammals, birds, and other reptiles, including caimans) by constriction.

Venom Facts

The toxins in snake venom are classified in different ways by different organizations. The venom of some snakes damages the tissue of prey animals (or humans) in more than one way. Some common categories of venom toxins are listed below.

  • Neurotoxins interfere with the conduction of nerve impulses.
  • Hemotoxins destroy red blood cells, stop blood from coagulating, and increase bleeding.
  • Myotoxins stops skeletal muscles from working properly.
  • Cardiotoxins interfere with the heartbeat.
  • Nephrotoxins damage the kidneys.
  • Cytotoxins (or necrotoxins) destroy cells and tissues in the body.

Which Snake Is the Most Venomous?

It's difficult to name the most venomous snake in the world. Some snakes have a venom that is less powerful than the venom of other snakes but is more dangerous because it's injected in larger quantities. Many venoms haven't been tested for toxicity. Another problem is that test procedures to determine venom toxicity vary in different labs.

An unpleasant laboratory test is used to determine the toxicity of a substance. It's called the LD50 test and measures the dose of chemical that is lethal to 50% of a group of laboratory mice. The lower the LD50 number, the more dangerous the chemical.

The usefulness of the LD50 test is limited. The toxicity of a venom depends on how it enters the body of a mouse. Injecting venom into muscle usually gives a different LD50 number from injecting it into a vein or under the skin. Not all labs perform their LD50 tests in the same way, which leads to confusion when interpreting the results. In addition, a given venom may not have the same effects in humans as it does in mice. Nevertheless, a winner in the most venomous snake contest has been announced, based on the LD50 test result.

The Inland Taipan

The honour of the most venomous snake in the world based on LD50 values is often awarded to the inland taipan or fierce snake of Australia (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). The snake is a shy and reclusive animal, but it may bite if provoked. Bites are rare, however, and all known bites have been treated successfully with antivenom (a medication that neutralizes the effect of snake venom in the body).

Other snakes that produce venom with a higher LD50 value may be more dangerous than the inland taipan because they live in areas with a larger human population or because they are more aggressive. As the Australian Museum says, though the snake is “often cited as the world’s most venomous snake, the Inland Taipan is far from the most dangerous.”

The video below gives tips for distinguishing coral snakes (venomous) from kingsnakes (nonvenomous). Both reptiles are found in the United States.

Three Dangerous Reptiles

Three snakes—the black mamba, the Egyptian cobra, and the boomslang—would definitely be included on a list of the most dangerous snakes in the world. They are frightening animals, but they only attack humans when they want to protect themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes snakes hide when a human approaches, so the person may not realize the danger. A snake may then attack because it feels threatened.

Antivenoms are available for some snake venoms. Some venoms act so quickly that there may not be time to get the antivenom, however. This is especially true when someone is in a remote area when they experience a snake bite.

A black mamba in a defensive posture

A black mamba in a defensive posture

The Black Mamba

The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is the most venomous snake in Africa and is also the fastest snake in the world. Black mambas are usually green, grey, or brown in colour. The inside of their mouth is blue-black. This feature is responsible for their name. The snakes open their mouth to display its colour when they're threatened. Black mambas are usually about eight feet long, although they may be as long as 14 feet. They can move as fast as 12.5 miles an hour.

Black mambas are generally shy but are very aggressive when they feel threatened. They lift their head and up to a third of their body off the ground during their threat posture. They also expand their neck flap, making them look larger, and they hiss. The snakes bite multiple times from many directions if their threat posture doesn't work, injecting a large amount of powerful venom into their victim.

The venom contains a neurotoxin that blocks nerve conduction as well as a cardiotoxin that interferes with the heartbeat. Without antivenom, death occurs in about twenty minutes. Unfortunately, due to loss of the black mamba's habitat to humans, encounters between people and snakes are becoming more common.

The video below shows the collection of black mamba venom, which will be used to create an antivenom.

The Egyptian Cobra

Like other cobras, the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) has long ribs in its neck. The ribs enable the snake to expand the sides of its neck when it's alarmed, forming a "hood". The hood makes the animal look larger and more intimidating.

The snake's venom can kill a person in as little as ten minutes. Those ten minutes are very painful, since the venom contains neurotoxins that affect nerves and cytotoxins that destroy tissue. The neurotoxins stop nerve impulses from going to the muscles, including those of the heart and respiratory system. Death is due to respiratory failure. Symptoms of the venom attack include pain and severe tissue swelling. The affected person may also experience a headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and convulsions.

The Egyptian cobra is often said to be the "asp" that Cleopatra reportedly used to kill herself. Some researchers think that this is unlikely, however. Dying from the poison would be a horrible experience. It seems strange that Cleopatra would want to subject herself to so much pain.

An Egyptian cobra with its hood expanded

An Egyptian cobra with its hood expanded

The Boomslang

The venom of the boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is very toxic. It's a hemotoxin and causes internal bleeding and blood loss from the openings of a person's body. The person may notice blood in their saliva, urine, and stool, as well as a bleeding nose. As the damage progresses, the skin may take on a bruised and bluish appearance due to blood buildup from the internal bleeding.

One good point about boomslang venom is that it's slow to act, giving someone time to find and administer antivenom. On the other hand, the gap between bite and noticeable symptoms may be a disadvantage because the affected person may think that the attack has caused no problems and may not look for antivenom.

The boomslang lives in Africa south of the Sahara and has a variable appearance. Males are often light green and may have black markings as well. Females are often brown. Boomslangs are mainly arboreal snakes, but they travel along the ground at times.

The snake wasn't considered to be venomous until 1957. In that year, Karl P. Schmidt was a well known herpetologist working at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. He received a bag containing a boomslang and took the snake out to examine it. The snake bit him on his thumb, but Schmidt was unconcerned and didn't seek medical treatment until it was too late to help. By the afternoon of the next day, Schmidt was dead. This sad event changed people's opinion about the safety of the boomslang snake.

A close-up view of a boomslang's head

A close-up view of a boomslang's head

Sea Snakes

Sea snakes are marine animals and are good swimmers. The sides of their bodies are often flattened, somewhat like a fish's body, and they have a paddle-shaped tail. These features help the animals move through the water and make them look a bit like eels. They aren't fish, however, and must surface to breathe.

The lung of a sea snake extends along almost the whole length of its body. Its skin is able to absorb a limited amount of oxygen from the water. These features enable the animal to stay under water for much longer than would be expected.

Many sea snakes have very potent venom. Although some are aggressive, many are quite friendly towards humans. One sea snake that is definitely not friendly, however, is the beaked sea snake. Most deaths from sea snake bites are caused by this animal, which is described as having a "nasty" temperament. The snake lives around Asia and Australia. DNA tests indicate that there are two different species of beaked sea snake. They both belong to the genus Enhydrina.

Flying Snakes

Flying snakes live in Southeast Asia. They actually glide instead of fly, but their movement is still amazing. They can even change direction while they're airborne.

A snake performs the following sequence of events in order to "fly".

  • First, it climbs a tree and slithers to the end of a branch.
  • Then it dangles its body from the branch in a J shape while gripping the branch with the back part of its body.
  • The snake uses the lower part of its body to launch itself into the air.
  • As soon as it's airborne, the animal forms an S shape with its body.
  • The snake rotates its ribs forward to flatten the top part of its body and give its undersurface a concave shape. In this way, it turns its whole body into a wing.
  • The animal undulates its body in the air, which helps it to steer.

Being able to glide from tree to tree is very useful when a flying snake wants to escape from predators. The video below shows a flying snake and a reptile known as a flying dragon. Like the snake, this animal glides through the air instead of flying.

Fascinating Reptiles

There are many other snakes that have fascinating abilities and behaviour. It's very interesting to observe them, although it's essential to keep far away from venomous species.

Snake videos are entertaining to watch—and safer, too, when the snake is venomous—and books about snakes are an excellent addition to a home library. Observing the animals in real life is the most enjoyable way to study them, though. They can be seen in captivity, but I enjoy discovering nonvenomous snakes in the wild. They are always interesting to observe.


  • A report about the world's smallest snake from Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Reticulated python information from Zoo Atlanta
  • Information about the green anaconda from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  • Facts about snake venom from Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • Inland taipan facts from the Australian Museum
  • Facts about the black mamba from a specialist at the University of Pretoria via The Conversation
  • Egyptian cobra facts from the Central Florida Zoo
  • Information about the potentially deadly boomslang from Scientific American
  • The deadliest sea snake discussed by University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • Secrets of flying snakes revealed by the BBC

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: What is the smartest snake?

Answer: Intelligence in snakes is difficult to measure. When their mental abilities are explored, the right environmental conditions for a reptile must be used to get an accurate result. Reptiles have a different physiology and different behavior from the animals most often used in intelligence experiments. Another problem is that not all snakes in existence have been studied concerning their mental abilities, so it’s impossible to say which is the smartest.

It’s interesting that recent research has shown that at least some reptiles appear to be more intelligent than we realized. They are very different from us, but this certainly doesn’t mean that they are unintelligent. Future research should provide more information.

Question: What can I use to keep snakes away from my home?

Answer: Commercial snake repellents can be purchased, and recipes for homemade ones are available on the Internet. Since I’ve never used any of these substances, I have no idea how effective they are. Safety of the repellents for humans and pets needs to be considered when making or using them.

Other prevention techniques may be useful for someone who wants to repel snakes. One of these is the removal of yard debris in which snakes can hide, such as wood piles and compost. Keeping grass short is essential. It would also be a good idea to keep bushy plants as far away from the foundation of the house as possible. Removing potential food sources for a snake’s prey is also essential. Pet food shouldn’t be left outside. If food for wild birds is placed in the garden, its use should be reconsidered. Fruit that’s fallen from plants should be quickly and regularly removed.

Checking around the outside of a home for areas where snakes could enter or hide is a good prevention strategy. The foundation of the house should be checked for holes or cracks. If any are found, they should be repaired. The same routine should be used for garages, doors, and screens. If openings to the home are required for pipes, the area around the pipe should be sealed. Any vents should be covered with a screen.

© 2013 Linda Crampton


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 14, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment, Crafty. I enjoy reading about other people's experiences with snakes!

CraftytotheCore on November 14, 2013:

Wow, such interesting information about snakes. And lovely photos! I hope I never live to see a flying snake, but I certainly have my share of snakes around here. Fortunately, we don't have poisonous ones that we see anyway. We had a snake once travel across the road, through my yard and up a tree. It hung out there while the kids got to look it over. That was pretty interesting. But then there was the time I stepped on a coiled snake resting near the side yard. That wasn't fun. I knew it was a snake because I had socks on and could feel the coils under my foot. LOL

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 10, 2013:

Thanks for the comment and for sharing your interesting experiences with snakes, Jodah! I used to see garter snakes very frequently where I live, but now that the area has become more built up I see the snakes less often.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 10, 2013:

This was an extremely interesting and informative hub AliciaC featuring a variety of snakes from around the world. I live in Australia on a rural property so have encountered various snakes from time to time. I have often had need to extricate a carpet python from our chicken coop, and have also come across brown snakes and red bellied blacks from time to time. Last week, however, I came across a small striped snake sliding frantically across our wooden floor. I had never seen a similar snake before so looked it up. Appears to have been a 'bandy bandy' or hoop snake, mildly venomous but it's mouth is so small it is unlikely to do damage to a human. I picked it up with a small spade and released it into the bush.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on October 06, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, jainismus!

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on October 06, 2013:

Great hub with great photos, thank you for sharing.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 27, 2013:

Thank you for the comment and for sharing such interesting information, travel_man1971. Finding a new flying snake would be a wonderful discovery!

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on September 27, 2013:

Thank you for a well-researched hub about snakes. It's a legendary thing to see flying snakes, especially here in the Philippines. I'm from Bicol region and we still believe that there's still a specie of flying snakes (we call it 'ibingan'{e-bee-ngan} in local dialect) hovering the unexplored caves of Mt. Isarog (extinct volcano in Camarines Sur).

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on August 09, 2013:

Thank you for the visit and comment, DDE. I'm glad to hear that even though you don't like snakes you aren't willing to hurt one!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 09, 2013:

Great hub on the various snakes, informative, useful and interesting, I am not friend of any snake or an enemy but I won't kill or injure one

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 31, 2013:

Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, starbright.

Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on July 31, 2013:

This is so interesting - many facts here I didn't know about. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 30, 2013:

Thank you very much, Deb. I appreciate your comment and votes!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 30, 2013:

I really liked this, as I didn't know that red and yellow can kill a fellow. I happen to be in snake country, even though I have not yet seen any. Reportedly, there are poisonous snakes in OK. Thanks, Alicia! Awesome and up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 28, 2013:

Thank you very much for the vote and the share, Nell! Thanks for sharing the interesting information, too. I appreciate your visit!

Nell Rose from England on July 28, 2013:

I actually really liked snakes until I read this! lol! no seriously, fascinating reading, and I never knew about the 'flying snakes' before. amazing how they can launch themselves from a branch like that. I did see on tv a while ago about the plant that the native amazonians eat to stop the venom, evidently it causes the nerve pathways to stay together in their body, compared to the venom breaking it down and then killing them, this was great Alicia! voted up and shared, nell

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 28, 2013:

I'm so lucky that I haven't had any frightening experiences with venomous snakes! Your experience was scary, Elias. I'm glad that you didn't get bitten! Thanks for the comment - I appreciate it.

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on July 28, 2013:

Snakes are fascinating creatures indeed, Alicia but I have to admit I'm a little bit afraid of them! Like Shelley above, I had a similar experience many years ago while in vacation in the countryside, when a snake crawled in my apartment. I was making my morning coffee when I realized there was a snake in the kitchen's window! Hopefully it just stayed there until i called in some locals. Learned afterwards that it was a venomous one. Possibly, it entered the house in the night when I was sleeping so i was really lucky it didn't bit me.

Thanks for sharing this informative and well written hub!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

What a frightening story, CyberShelley! I'm glad that the condition of your friend's eye is improving. The thought of a cobra crawling into a bed with someone in it is nightmarish! Thanks for sharing the story and for the votes.

Shelley Watson on July 27, 2013:

Funny how morbidly drawn one is to something that is so scary. A friend of mine, over Easter this year was at another friend's private lodge and, during the night a cobra decided to crawl in with her and bit her on the eyelid toward the brow. She was rushed to hospital and treated and now, two months later, after four operations she can walk around without a patch on her eye. The muscle was affected and she couldn't close her eye nor wet the eyeball. Scary yes, but she was so lucky. Voted up, interesting and useful.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Gail. Thank you for the comment and the vote. Flying snakes are certainly interesting creatures! It's fascinating to watch them in action.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on July 27, 2013:

This is a fascinating hub, Alicia. I have never even heard of some of these snakes prior to reading this. I also always thought a snake could "fall" out of a tree, but I had no idea there are snakes that actually jump or "fly." All I could think while watching that video was I sure would not want to be the guy who happened to be in the way on the ground! lol Voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, pstraubie. I agree - many snakes do have a gorgeous appearance! They are beautiful animals. From a human's point of view, though, it's a shame that some snakes are venomous! Thank you very much for the vote and the share.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 27, 2013:

Awesome!! I am not a huge fan of, correction. I am not a fan at all. But every time I see an article especially with pictures of these fascinating creatures I have to stop.

You have given so much detail and interesting information that I feel like some of the questions I had have been answered.

The Boomslang is gorgeous!!!

Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared. ps

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

I wondered if "slang" meant snake, Martie. Thanks for the extra information. It's interesting to read about boomslangs and to see them in videos, but I wouldn't like to be surprised by one when taking a walk!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 27, 2013:

Oh, I forgot to add: 'slang', pronounced 'slung' is the Afrikaans word for snake. So Boomslang is out and out an Afrikaans word for Tree Snake. I think they are only to be found in South Africa and neighboring countries? Indeed very venomous. One normally don't see them in trees while walking under the trees, and therefore they always surprise....

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Suhail. Yes, snakes do start life with a handicap. Even nonvenomous ones are sometimes disliked. As you say, we're encroaching on their habitat. Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Vicki. I'm sorry that snakes disturb you so much! I haven't read your hub about snakes, but I'll look for it today. I'm learning that people have very strong feelings about these creatures! As I said to Faith, thank you very much for being courageous enough to read my hub when you feel the way that you do about snakes. I hope your dreams aren't too unpleasant tonight!

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on July 27, 2013:

My first article on snakes that I read totally engrossed in it. The write-up is supplemented by great videos.

However, I admit that I love snakes for the simple reason most humans have a dislike for them and this very fact makes them start a life with a big handicap.

Most of the time people kill them as intruders in their save environments, forgetting the fact that it is us humans who are quickly encroaching on their real estate rather than other way round.

Voted up, shared and rated awesome!

Vickiw on July 27, 2013:

Alicia, I thought at first you had written this to torture me, after my snake Hub, but then I realised you hadn't seen that, so I nerved myself to read through. Have to say, I knew a lot about the South African ones, too much in fact, and in general, I don't like these horrible creatures at all. Anyway, I managed to get through it, and I'm sure the snake lovers think it is just great. As a Hub, it is wonderful. As something to disturb my dreams tonight, mission accomplished!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Thank you so much, SavannahEve! How wonderful to grow up in a house with snakes! I've had a variety of pets since childhood, but I've never owned a snake. It must have been very interesting to have snakes in the family!

Suzi Rayve from California on July 27, 2013:

Wow! Fantastic Hub! I love snakes and grew up with them all over the house (science teacher dad). This is well written with beautiful pics and information! Thank you!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Tom. Thank you for the votes and the share! Snakes are fascinating animals. It's interesting to study them!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on July 27, 2013:

Hi my friend great fascinating and interesting information about these different kinds of snakes, love all the beautiful photos and videos too .

Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Eddy. I'm glad to hear that someone else likes snakes! Thanks for the visit and the vote. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Hi, Bill. The video of the spitting cobra is my favorite, too! I like snakes, although it seems that I'm in the minority! Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share.

Eiddwen from Wales on July 27, 2013:

I loved this Alicia and learnt so much. I enjoy anything to do with nature and this one was a treat. Voted up and wishing you a great weekend.


Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Thank you for the comment, drbj. I like snakes, although I don't like to get close to venomous ones. Venomous snakes get a lot of attention from people because they can be dangerous, but most snakes aren't venomous. All snakes are extraordinary creatures, though, as you say!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 27, 2013:

Linda, this is fascinating. I must admit I've never been a big fan of snakes and we don't see many here where we live. Growing up we lived near a pond and there were always snakes in our garage, maybe that's why I not fond of them. This is very interesting and I love the video of the spitting snake. Voted up, shared, pinned ,etc...

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 27, 2013:

Although I am not particularly fond of snakes, Alicia, I was drawn in by your realistic, frightening descriptions and amazing videos of these extraordinary creatures. Thank you for the brilliant lesson in venomous herpetology.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Only seeing one snake in ten years is definitely lucky, Jackie! Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2013:

Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Suzie, as well as for all the votes and the share! I'm lucky where I live. My local snake is the garter snake, which is harmless. However, there are rattlesnakes in other parts of British Columbia. I wouldn't be happy living near them!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 27, 2013:

I really fear snakes and have come across one in an outside building this summer! First I have seen in ten years though so guess I am pretty lucky. Great write and photos. ^

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on July 27, 2013:

Hi Alicia,

Wow, what a fascination collection of snakes you have presented. Such interesting things such as the different types of venom, I didn't know there were 4 categories! Snakes are one animal I am scared stiff of and there are wild ones in the area we will be moving to in Southern Italy, the one thing that I really do not look forward to! Hopefully I will overcome this phobia! Cheers for a really well researched article which is jam packed and the work you did is fantastic! Definite HOTD as Bill said!

Voted up, interesting, Useful, Shared!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 26, 2013:

I am so sorry that snakes are terrifying for you, Faith. Thank you very, very much for trying to read the hub when you feel the way that you do! I appreciate your kindness a great deal.

I hope that you have a wonderful and very enjoyable weekend, Faith. Best wishes to you.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 26, 2013:

I just know this is a phenomenal hub here, but I have to confess I am one of those who really is terrified of snakes. Your photos are amazing and so many, but I am so sorry sweet friend, they are so vivid, I could not barely read your hub. We have moved to the country, so I know I may cross one, one day, but I pray that never happens.

Have a lovely weekend dearest Alicia

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 26, 2013:

Thanks for the kind comment and the interesting information about the name of the boomslang snake, Martie. It sounds like some Barbados threadsnakes would be very useful in your garden! Good luck with getting rid of the termites.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 26, 2013:

Amazing animals! I often wonder why do humans fear snakes instinctively. 'Boom' is the Afrikaans word for 'tree'.

As always, an excellent and informative hub by Alicia :)

BTW, I need a couple of those smallest snakes - termites are busy to destroy my lawn....

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 26, 2013:

Thanks for the lovely comment, Bill! It must have been so interesting to have a python in the house, even if it was only for a while. I must admit, I would be very uncomfortable - and scared - with a python wrapped around my neck!

I hope that you and Bev have a great weekend, too.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 26, 2013:

Cool facts. I see another HOTD coming soon. :)

We had a python as a pet for awhile and it really was a fascinating creature to have in the house....until it grew fond of wrapping itself around our necks. :) Not so fascinating after that. LOL

Have a great weekend!