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What Do Snakes Eat

The diet of snakes depends on various factors like their size, type, season and habitat. Read on to know about what do snakes eat.
Snakes are reptiles with elongated bodies, that lack appendages, eyelids and external ears. At present fifteen families of snakes have been identified. These families consist of 456 genera, which in turn have around 2900 species of snakes. So, there are different types of snakes, that differ in size, shape, habits and habitats. These creatures can be found across the globe, in a wide range of habitats, except the Antarctica and some islands. There are many interesting facts about snakes and one among them is their diet.

Eating Habits and Diet of Snakes

These creatures are carnivorous in nature and their eating habits are based on various factors like size, type, habitat and season. The eating habits of snakes are influenced by their anatomy. While venomous snakes kill their prey by injecting venom, non-venomous ones either swallow the prey or kill it by constriction. You may wonder how snakes are able to swallow prey, which are much bigger in size, when compared to the predator. As they lack appendages to tear the prey, they have to swallow the prey in whole. This is facilitated by their skull, with many joints, which helps them to swallow prey that are much larger than the size of their heads. African egg-eating snake is a classic example to substantiate the fact that anatomy plays an important role in the feeding habits of a snake. This particular snake has flexible jaws that helps them swallow eggs, bigger than the diameter of their head. As they do not have teeth to break the eggs, they have sharp edges that protrude out of the inner side of their spine, which aids in breaking the shell. It has also been observed that smaller snakes try to feed on smaller prey, while the big ones go for prey with larger size. As mentioned above, snakes are carnivorous and feed on small animals including lizards, other snakes, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, snails and insects. Their diet differs with the type of snake, their habitat and many other factors.

What do Snakes Eat in the Wild

Now, you know that snakes are carnivorous and eat smaller animals, birds, insects and other invertebrates. In general, a snake feeds on any creature, that is abundant in their habitat. Again, they have their own preferences. They may change their choice as per the season. If a prey is too small or big for them, they may not go for it. It has been observed that rodents are among the favorite food for snakes. This is because of the fact that rodents are warm-blooded animals, that are easy to kill, either by constriction or by injecting venom. The tentacle snake eat fish and consume some aquatic plants along with fish. It is said that it is the only snake in the world, that feeds on plant matter. While king cobras and king snakes prefer to feed on other snakes, brown snakes eat snails. Pythons go for much larger preys like monkeys and kangaroos. In case of desert snakes, like the rattlesnake, the food includes mostly, lizards, rodents, birds, and other snakes. Rain forest snakes (anacondas are the most familiar among them) like to feed on deer, rodents, birds and frogs.
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Last Updated: October 11, 2011
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WHAT KIND OF SNAKES DO YOU GUSS LIKE AT ALL - diego RAMOS [February 5, 2014]
think you - cj [February 5, 2014]
What do water moccasins eat? - Jessica [November 8, 2011]
Awsome! - the love doctor [April 4, 2011]
I think you should name the snakes in every state - christa poypth [December 6, 2010]
wow cool information buti hate the picture becase it is very scary - cody [November 25, 2010]
this is cool & i'm a girl - marla [November 18, 2010]
yo Aja Miles is sexy hot! - Jack Levy [October 14, 2010]
that is so cool and im a girl! - Alyssa [October 14, 2010]
I want a BIG yellow spotted snake NOW! - Aja Miles [July 17, 2010]
that is so cute - alysha [May 12, 2010]