Happy Year of the Snake – 10 Intriguing Snake Facts

Posted by on February 8, 2013 | Permalink

People around the world are celebrating the Chinese New Year today – it’s the Year of the Snake. To mark the occasion, here are some lesser-known facts about these fascinating reptiles:

  1. Snakes and other reptiles have pain receptors and respond to painful stimuli just as humans do.
  2. In the exotic-skins industry, hunters often nail snakes to trees and skin them alive before tossing them in a pile to die.
  3. Flying tree snakes can glide between trees over distances of 24 metres or more.
  4. To make it easier for workers to skin them, snakes sometimes have a hose forced between their jaws and are pumped full of water until they swell up. It can take them several days to die from shock or dehydration.
  5. Many species of snakes, including pythons and monocled cobras, are in danger of extinction because of the largely unregulated exotic-skins trade.
  6. The smallest snake in the world, the Barbados thread snake, is just 4 inches long.
  7. Snakes are acutely sensitive. Their bellies can detect even the faintest vibrations in the air and on the ground, allowing them to sense the approach of other animals.
  8. Of the 2,900 species of snakes in the world, only 13 per cent are venomous.
  9. Female pythons make a nest and coil up on their eggs to keep them safe until they hatch.
  10. Each year, half a million python skins are exported from Southeast Asia alone. The European fashion industry accounts for 96 per cent of the python-skin market.

If you want to help snakes and take a stand against the cold-blooded cruelty of the exotic-skins trade, please watch and share this shocking exposé of reptile abuse in Indonesia. Then pledge to keep snakeskin and other exotic skins out of your wardrobe.