Fun Facts About Snakes

World Snake Day is July 16th. Snakes may not be everyone’s favorite animal, but they don’t deserve all of the bad PR they’ve gotten. These beautiful creatures play important roles in our ecosystems. They’re also quite interesting! A Fayette County, KY vet lists some fun facts about snakes below.

Whole Lotta Snakes

There are more than 3700 kinds of snakes out there, and they live everywhere in the world. Well, almost everywhere. There are a few places with no native snakes. These include New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica, as well as the northernmost parts of Russia, Canada, Finland, and the U.S. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there is an island in Brazil that is populated only by snakes. It’s off-limits to tourists, and would definitely not make a must-see list for the one in three adults with a snake phobia.

Size Range

The largest snake fossil ever found was called the Titanoboa. Found in Columbia, these massive serpents could get to be as much as 50 feet long, weighed 20 times as much as the average person, and ate crocodiles and giant tortoises. The smallest snake, the Barbados threadsnake, only gets to be about 4 inches long.


Snakes also have some interesting sensory mechanisms. For instance, they can ‘hear’ using vibrations, through their jaw bones. They also pick up scents with their tongues. And some, such as pit vipers and pythons, can sense heat.


Most snakes are not venomous. Only about 600 are poisonous, and, of those, only about a third have venom that’s strong enough to kill humans. The most deadly ones include the King Cobra, Eastern Brown Snake, Black Mamba, and Inland and Coastal Taipan snakes. Of course, the question here is usually how to tell poisonous from non-poisonous snakes. The eyes are usually the biggest giveaway. Venomous snakes usually have slitted pupils, while non-venomous ones have round pupils. However, we don’t recommend getting close enough to check.

Beneficial Venom

Snake venom also has its benefits. Current research is evaluating whether venom could potentially be used to cure cancer!


While the majority of snakes lay eggs, about a third give birth to live young. Also, the number of young a snake can have is also proportionate to how much it can eat.

Do you have questions about snakes? Contact us, your Fayette County, KY animal clinic, today!

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