Snakes belong to a suborder of the class of reptiles of the order scaly, and unlike legless lizards have a movable jaw connection, which allows them to swallow their prey in its entirety. In addition, the characteristic differences include the complete lack of mobility of the eyelids, as well as the eardrum and shoulder girdle.
The main characteristic
Regardless of the species, scaly dry skin covers the entire body of the snake. Many species have special skin on the abdomen, which increases adhesion to surfaces and greatly facilitates the process of movement. Periodic skin change - peeling or molting, consists in a simultaneous and single-layer replacement of the entire epidermis. For the purpose of taxonomic identification, the shape and number of scales that cover the head, back and stomach of the snake are determined.
It is interesting! The eyes of the snake are constantly covered with eyelids - special transparent scales. That is why many people think that snakes sleep with their eyes open, which only sometimes hide behind the rings of a folded body.
The most developed species have wide, ordinary strips of dorsal scales that correspond to the vertebrae. Unlike most other reptiles, snakes have the most developed organs of thermal sensitivity, which are located in the area of the facial fossa, directly between the eyes and nose. The viper, python and boa constrictor also have special sensitive receptors located in the grooves of the head.
Snake content at home
Today, more than three thousand species of snakes are well known and studied, which are combined into several families and superfamilies. About a quarter of them are poisonous species. For home use, a limited number of species are suitable. Exotic pets attract attention with composure and calm. Many species are not only unpretentious, but also easily tamed.
It is interesting! Zoologists have discovered a snake that feeds exclusively on plant foods and is distributed throughout Mexico. The peculiarity is a fluffy body and a calm disposition, thanks to which this snake is popular among Mexicans as a pet.
When choosing, be sure to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the character and behavior of the snake, the average size of an adult, take into account the power of capture and toxicity indicators, as well as find out the food addictions of the species.
Top Popular Snakes
If the desire to have a snake as a pet is final, all that remains is to choose a species that will meet all the expectations of the owner, including size, mobility, appearance and basic care requirements.
The best option for home content. It is notable for its small size that does not exceed one and a half meters, moderate appetite and relatively calm character. Staining is very diverse, but most often individuals with burgundy-red staining and grayish-black spots on the back are found. The view is quite active, but quickly gets used to the terrarium. Allows you to pull yourself together without showing any aggression.
Calm and very peaceful, completely non-toxic medium-sized exot. It is characterized by slowness, but in case of danger it quickly turns into a ball. To date, captive contains royal pythons, which are characterized by a very diverse coloration of the skin, so snake lovers will not be difficult to choose an individual with the most attractive color.
The view is characterized by a slender physique and reaches a length of a couple of meters. It is difficult to attribute the rainbow boa to the category of slow ones. Many species are distinguished by their curiosity and complex characteristic, but, as a rule, they become somewhat calmer with age. Despite the variability of staining, a specific feature is the presence of a mesmerizing overflow of the surface of the scales under sunlight.
Depending on age, the length of this boa can vary from a meter to two or more, so keeping in small rooms can be fraught with some difficulties. A distinctive feature of the species is the tail of an attractive brown-red coloration. Despite the impressive size and powerful grip, the imperial pythons are stacked very proportionally and are not prone to aggression.
Royal and dairy snakes
Sufficiently miniature and very nimble creatures that can be represented by several varieties, differing in size and coloring, as well as in character and behavioral characteristics. Most often, the body length of an adult does not exceed one meter, which facilitates maintenance and makes these species the most popular at home.
The most dangerous domestic snakes
Experienced connoisseurs of exotics are increasingly starting poisonous snake houses. Despite the fact that such species are necessarily kept in special terrariums, the high risk of getting a serious injury or a deadly poisonous bite remains, so it is very important to know all the behavioral characteristics of such snakes, and it is also necessary to take into account the degree of their toxicity.
The massive reptile hails from India or Vietnam, more than nine meters long. At home, they need an artificial pond. Able to quickly move through the trees. The species is not poisonous, but a massive snake is able with its large body to wrap around a victim and slowly squeeze it until death.
North America's largest venomous snake, up to two meters long. The species is prone to aggression, and a bite can cause death. Strong poison causes severe pain, bleeding at the site of the bite and rapid swelling. Lack of timely and proper treatment can cause death.
The length of the reptile is often five meters or more. This is a poisonous snake - the longest in the world, distributed in India, South China and Southeast Asia. King cobra feeds mainly on other types of snakes. Individuals protecting their offspring have increased aggressiveness. A poison containing neurotoxins can quickly cause paralysis.
The adult snake grows to a meter, and is naturally distributed in southern Brazil, as well as in northern Argentina and northeastern Paraguay. Leads a nocturnal lifestyle. The poison is dangerous and often fatal. The result of intoxication is tissue necrosis, as well as bleeding gums and heavy nosebleeds, which are accompanied by symptoms of renal failure and cerebral hemorrhage.
The viper is a native of the Indian subcontinent and neighboring countries, living in an open area and not in sparse forest areas. It conducts mainly a night look. Despite some slowness, the snake can be aggressive, and as a result of a bite, bubbles and swelling form, vomiting, dizziness and severe external bleeding occur. Often the result of a bite is fatal.
Krayt or bungarus prefers to settle in natural conditions near ponds, in rice fields and dams. In search of food, the snake hunts at night. The bite is deadly, and the percentage of deaths reaches fifty percent, even with the timely use of the antidote. Death, as a rule, occurs no later than a day after a bite.
The three most dangerous species
The most dangerous snakes in the world today are black mamba, taipan and sand efa. The powerful toxic components of the poison cause paralysis of the heart muscle, lungs and diaphragm, provoke strangulation of the victim, destroy muscle tissue and provoke severe bleeding. Mortality rates due to bites of these species are extremely high.
To keep snakes at home, you need to purchase special equipment. The main one is the terrarium, the volume of which directly depends on the size of the exotic pet. The snake should move freely and easily across the terrarium. It is also very important to purchase equipment that can provide the snake with heating and lighting. The temperature regime inside the terrarium should be maintained at the level of 23-28 ° С.
It is interesting!Reptile addictions can vary. Tropical snakes need to provide a temperature regime of 25-30 ° C. Natives of subtropics and temperate latitudes ideally suit the temperature range of 20-38 ° C.
Heating should not be continuous. To prevent overheating of exotics, a small cold, but absolutely dry corner should be allocated in the terrarium. Indoor humidity can reach 90%, for which spraying is carried out or special humidifiers are used. Lighting equipment in the form of an ultraviolet lamp should be an imitation of bright sunlight in the daytime. After sunset, the light can be turned off or switched to dim lighting.
Features of feeding and diet
Snakes are very diverse in terms of food cravings. For example, the basis of the diet of the green North American snake is made up of spiders, fish, birds and caterpillars, and lizards and mice with this species are never used for food. A feature of water snakes, on the contrary, is the food preference in the form of fish and frogs, as well as absolute indifference to insects and mice. The yellow-striped snake widespread in North America belongs to the category of omnivorous species, so food for it can be not only worms, fish and frogs, but also any rodents or birds.
When purchasing a snake as a pet, you need to remember that only special feeds are used to feed the predatory reptile. In captivity, the basis of the exot diet is young frozen, live or freshly killed mice. The size of the rodent should be fully consistent with the size of the head of a domestic snake, which minimizes the risk of stress for the pet during ingestion of food. Frozen rodents must be thawed before feeding the snake.
It is interesting!Hungry domestic snakes very clearly signal to their master that it is time for feeding. In this case, an exotic pet fusses, and also very often and quite loudly clicks its tongue.
The main diet, as well as the amount of food fed may vary depending on the species characteristics and sizes of home exotics. False-footed young snake needs to be fed once a week, and adults - not more than three times a month. Feeding young snakes is once every five days, and adults of these species should receive food once a week.
In most cases, non-toxic species of reptiles are kept at home.
Poisonous specimens have very special species habits and behavior, so when they are kept at home, you must adhere to certain rules:
- placement in strong and reliable, enclosed terrariums or cages, which are located in enclosed spaces;
- the premises should be completely isolated, without ventilation and other openings;
- tools for working with a snake, as well as serum, must be in close proximity to the terrarium;
- in the presence of a large number of snakes, each terrarium should be marked with special signs indicating the species.
Among other things, it is strictly forbidden to take poisonous snakes with your bare hands, to work with snakes when drunk or under the influence of drugs. Inexperienced people should not be involved in caring for poisonous snakes.
Buying tips and tricks
For keeping at home, a snake is best purchased in specialized nurseries, where exotics born in captivity are realized, already accustomed to keeping in a terrarium, easily transferring artificial light and standard food. The average lifespan of a captive snake is fifteen years. Pythons are able to live at home for more than twenty years. The cost of an exotic depends on the type and age, therefore, it varies from several thousand rubles to tens and hundreds of thousands of rubles.