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The incredible world of snakes. Okay, I know, you either love them, or you are simply terrified of them. There is no in between. I used to be absolutely terrified of them, that was until recently, then I very bravely stroked my boyfriend's pet King Cobra. Yep, my heart was pounding, I felt shaky, but I soon realised, there was nothing to be afraid of. I have been truly fascinated by these intelligent reptiles ever since. Snakes are amazing. I have been like a sponge soaking up as much facts on them as possible! Here are the facts which amazed me the most.
Just think of the sight of a Cobra swaying from side to side, or rising up and down, to the beautiful tunes of a snake charmer. It really is a magical sight. The Cobra really digs those tunes! Rock on Cobra! However, contrary to popular belief, when you see a cobra dancing to a snake charmer's tunes, it is not because it's the cobra's favourite song, or it's letting its hair down and partying! No, no, it is actually nothing to do with the music, as snakes are deaf. Completely deaf. How do they hear? I will get to that later.
Highly Intelligent Creatures
First I want to tell you this, us humans are more similar to snakes than I am sure you'd of realised. Oh yes! Here's how... yes, okay, I am guessing you already know snakes have scales, very well known fact, but, here’s the incredible part, snakes scales are made of the exact same biological material as our own fingernails, keratin. Wow! Not only that, humans shed their skin just like snakes do, whereas snakes shed their skin all in one hit, human skin is often flaking off bit by bit.
Did you know snakes once had legs?! Surprising, right?! But yes, they did indeed. If you are feeling brave, look at the underbelly of a snake, you will see the mark of where the legs once were. By the way, never ask a snake for its opinion on the colour of an outfit you are wearing, you may get an incorrect answer. Why? Well, it's because these guys are colour blind.
Also, these guys are a cheap date! They'll happily sip on their favourite drink water. Though some snakes have be known to over drink. The water gets stuck in the snakes body, their body balloons out with the water, causing the snake to vomit it back up again. Food wise, it's a rat and mice all the way! Not sure which restaurant to suggest! Amazingly snakes smell with their tongue. Seriously! They taste the air, that is why their tongue is forked.
Two snakes, King Cobras and King Snakes' first choice of food is other snakes. But, get this, King Cobras and King Snakes—though highly intelligent creatures—do occasionally have dopey moments, as they have been known to try to eat themselves! Seriously! They spot their own tail, forgetting it is their own, and start to swallow it. Usually when they get around half way up their body they realise their error and stop. Or they stop when they realise they are bleeding, from bites from their own teeth.
Yes, I have not forgot, how do snakes hear? Well, snakes do have inner ears, but they have no visible outer ear. Their ears are not connected to an eardrum, instead they are connected to their lower jaw. They feel the vibration around them. That is how they hear. This is also how they hunt for food. They hear the vibration of their prey.
Get this, it is possible for snakes to tie themselves in a knot. Though, of course, this wouldn't be done on purpose. An accidental knot. Where they loop around themselves! Thankfully, they usually manage to get themselves out of their knot situation. Every snake is different in their habits, their personality, and their temperament—just like humans.
They're such fascinating creatures. If you are frightened of them, do what I did and stroke one. Obviously, I don't mean a wild snake, opt for a pet snake who are used to humans. You'll see there was nothing to be afraid of, and you'll probably be hooked—just like me.