All Different Types of SNAKES
There are about 3,400 species of snakes on earth, of which only less than 10% are venomous. In spite of all this, snakes are a symbol of terror for human beings, often personifying evil.
Snakes, or ophidians, belong, along with chameleons and iguanas, to the order Squamata. These animals are characterized by their upper jaw completely fused with their skull and a very mobile lower jaw, in addition to their tendency to have very small or even absent extremities. In this article Types of Snakes – Venomous, Non-Venomous, Marine, Freshwater Snakes from PlanetAnimal, we will tell you about the different types of snakes that exist on Earth, their characteristics and some examples.
What are the different types of snakes?
The different types of snakes are :
- Poisonous snakes
- Non-venomous snakes
- Freshwater Snakes
- Sea Snakes
- Desert Snakes
In the continuation of our article Types of Snakes – Venomous, Non-Venomous, Marine, Freshwater we will give you as much detail as possible about the different types of snakes!
Characteristics of snakes
Snakes, like the rest of reptiles, have a body protected by numerous scales. These epidermal scales are arranged next to each other or they overlap and so on… Between them, there is a mobile area called a hinge, which allows them to move around. Snakes, unlike lizards, have horny scales and do not have osteoderms or bony scales on their underside. This scaly epidermal tissue moves completely each time the animal grows.
They are ectothermic animals, i.e. they are not able to regulate their body temperature on their own and are dependent on their environment. For this reason, they modify and adopt their behaviour to keep their temperature as stable as possible.
As a reptile, the circulatory system of snakes is characterized by the fact that it has a heart divided into three chambers, two atria and a single ventricle. This organ receives blood from the body and the lungs and helps it circulate freely throughout the body. The small valves and partitions of the ventricle make it function as if it were divided in two.
The respiratory system of snakes consists of a small hole, called the glottis, located just at the end of the mouth. The glottis has a limb that allows air to pass to the trachea whenever the animal needs to breathe. After the trachea, there is a fully functional right lung with a bronchus called a mesobronchium. The left lung of snakes is very small or even absent in many species. Snakes breathe through their intercostal muscles.
Snakes have a highly evolved excretory apparatus. The kidneys are metanephritic, like birds or mammals. They filter the blood by expelling waste products. They are in the posterior area of the body. They do not have a bladder, but at the end of the tube through which they evacuate their waste is wider, which allows storage.
The fertilization of these animals is internal. The vast majority of snakes are omnivorous and oviparous animals. Although, sometimes, some species of snakes are ovoviviparous and the young develop inside the mother. The ovaries of females are enlarged and float inside the body cavity. In males, the seminiferous ducts act as testicles. A structure called hemipenis exists, it is nothing more than an evagination of the cloaca, which is used to enter the female’s cloaca.
Read more: The Most Dangerous Snakes in The World
The cloaca is a structure where the excretory ducts converge; it is located at the end of the intestine and the reproductive organs.
Some sensory organs are highly developed in snakes, such as smell and taste. Snakes have an organ called the Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ, through which it detects pheromones. Moreover, thanks to their saliva, they imbue themselves with taste and smell sensations.
On their face they have dimples that capture small temperature differences of up to 0.03ºC. They use them to hunt. The number of dimples they have varies between 1 and 13 pairs on each side of the face. Through the detectable thermal field, there is a double chamber located inside and separated by a thin membrane. If there is a warm-blooded animal nearby, the air in the first chamber increases and moves to the finishing membrane which stimulates the nerve endings.
Finally, there are also very venomous snakes. The venom is produced by salivary glands whose composition is modified. Being, ultimately, saliva, venom has a digestive function that helps in the digestion of prey. So, if a snake bites you, even if it is not venomous, the saliva itself can eventually cause a reaction and very painful wounds.
Once we’ve finished this little presentation on snakes, it’s time for us to continue our article Types of Snakes – Venomous, Non-Venomous, Marine, Freshwater Snakes and Where Snakes Live!
Where do snakes live?
Snakes, because of their great diversity of species, have managed to colonize almost every environment on the planet, except for the poles. Some snakes live in forested areas, using trees as a means of travel. Other snakes live in grasslands and more open areas. But they can also live in rocky or desert areas. There are even ophidians that have colonized the oceans. Aquatic environments can therefore also be an ideal place for certain species of snakes.
Different types of venomous snakes have different types of teeth:
- Tooth aglyphs do not have a channel for venom injection. Opisthoglyphic teeth.
- They are located in the posterior part of the mouth, with a channel through which venom enters.
- Proteroglyphic teeth. They are located on the anterior part of the mouth and have a canal. S
- olenoglyphic teeth. They have an internal canal. Venomous teeth can move from back to front, they are more venomous.
Not all snakes are equally dangerous. Normally, snakes have evolved to prey on concrete prey and among them we do not find humans. Thus, the majority of snakes, although venomous, are not necessarily a real threat.
In spite of this, there are, of course, some extremely dangerous snakes. Among the most venomous snakes in the world are:
- Desert Taiga (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
- Mamba black (Dendroaspis Polylepis)
- Belcher’s snake (Hydrophis Belcheri)
- Royal Cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah)
- Central American Spearhead (Bothrops Asper)
- Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
Nearly 90% of the snakes that populate our planet are not venomous, but that does not mean that they are not a threat. Pythons are not venomous, but with their bodies they are capable of flattening and asphyxiating very large animals in just a few seconds. Some of the types of python snakes are:
- Carpet python (Morelia spilota)
- Burmese Python (Python bivittatus)
- Royal Python (Python regius)
- Amethyst Python (Simalia amethistina)
- Seba Python (Python sebae)
Read more: What Animals Can Keep Snakes Away?
Some ophidians are considered to be types of domestic snakes, but no snake is a domestic animal because it has not gone through the very long process of domestication. What usually happens is that snakes have a calmer temperament and rarely attack unless they feel threatened. This fact, coupled with the fact that some snakes have no venom, makes many people decide to adopt a snake as a pet. Here are a few other snakes that we could mention:
- Boa constrictor King of California snake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae)
- Foxsnake (Lampropeltis triangulum); it is one of the types of snakes in Mexico.
- Green Python (Morelia viridis)
- Freshwater Snakes
Water snakes live in rivers, lakes and lagoons. These snakes are generally large and, although they need to breathe air, they spend a very large part of their day submerged in water, where they find almost all the food they need, such as amphibians and fish.
- Ring-necked Snake (Natrix natrix)
- Viperine Snake (Natrix Maura)
- Wart Snake (Acrochordus javanicus)
- Anaconda (Eunectes Murinus)
Marine snakes form a subfamily of the ophidian group, the subfamily Hydrophiinae. These snakes spend almost all of their lives in salt water, being, in the vast majority of cases, unable to move on a solid surface, such as the earth’s surface. Some species of marine snakes are:
- Yellow-lipped striped knit (Laticauda colubrina)
- Hydrophis melanocephalus
- Black and yellow sea snake (Hydrophis platurus)
Sand snakes are the ophidians that live in deserts. Among them are certain types of rattlesnakes:
- Ammothy viper or horned viper (Vipera ammodytes)
- Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
- Micruroides euryxanthus
- Arizona pacata
- Arizona elegans
Gold, B. S., Dart, R. C., & Barish, R. A. (2002). Bites of venomous snakes. New England Journal of Medicine, 347(5), 347-356. Kotpal, R. L. (2010). Modern text book of zoology: vertebrates. Rastogi Publications. Miller, S. A., & Harley, J. P. (2011). Zoology. New York.