Snakes belong to the class Reptilia with suborder Serpentes (mostly known as serpents). Snakes can be described as elongated and limbless reptiles.
According to observations over the years, there are over 3000 species of snakes in all parts of the world. Not all snakes are venomous. About 250 species of snakes are venomous and can cause harm or death if care is not given to its victims immediately.
Snakes are referred to as Ectotherms, this is because can only regulate their body temperature by getting a heat source(sun) or hiding in shades in order to cool down.
Snakes are classified with lizards in the order Squamata. Scientists have established that, snakes represents lizards. They are said to have lost some of their specialization and simplification over the years due to evolution.
Snakes consume a variety of items including termites, rodents, birds, frogs, small deer and other small animals. Because snakes cannot bite and tear food into pieces, they mostly swallow their prey whole. This is why they have very flexible jaws that can open 6 times their jaw structure.
They can be found in many different habitats. Some live in trees, land, around and in water bodies. Unlike other animals, snakes do not have limbs to move. This does not mean they do not move. Trust me snakes can move faster on land, water and in trees than many animals including humans. They have developed several different modes of movement to deal with particular environments.
Snakes And Humans
Most snakes do not prey on humans. They only bite when they feel threatened. Nonvenomous large snakes are usually the ones that can cause great harm to human. They have few or no teeth that are only designed to grab their prey. They have the ability to grab, squeeze and swallow some mammals and sometimes human. This also depends on their sizes. Nonvenomous snakes mostly grow bigger as compared to venomous ones. A great example of nonvenomous large snakes are pythons,boas and bullsnakes.
There are over 250 poisonous snakes that can kill humans with just a bite if not treated immediately. Snake deaths are more common in India than any parts of the world. The World Health Organization estimates that on the order of 100 000 people die each year as a result of snake bites.Also around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities are caused by snakebites annually.
Some of the poisonous snakes are:
- The Cobra
- Tiger Snake
- Inland Taipan
- Saw-scaled viper
- Faint-banded sea snake
- Black Mamba( It is also the fastest snake on earth.)
Treatment Of Snakebite
Different types of snakes require different treatments. This is because antidotes depends on the kind of venom. This is usually determined by the bite marks.
- It is very important to remain calm and motionless after a snakebite. This might sound crazy but being calm helps and prevents rush of blood with venom to the heart. This might save you some little time before medical help arrives.
- You will need to remove any jewelry or watches and other objects that can cut the body because normally, swellings occur after bites.
- Cover bite with clean bandage to avoid any more infections.
- Get medical attention immediately. Very important.