What do snakes eat?
The question what do snakes eat has fascinated and frankly repelled people for thousands of years.
Many people are afraid of snakes, but they eat other animals that do great damage to crops or livestock or even spread disease.
Among the animals snakes eat are:
Snakes can eat less harmful animals as well. The stomach of a Burmese python found in Florida contained part of the hoof of a deer.
The huge snake had not only been able to eat the deer, but had managed to digest all of it but this tiny section of hoof.
This is really remarkable when you think that snakes eat their prey whole.
In the wild snakes indeed will eat just about every live thing their jaws can fit around, including:
- Chickens and other birds
- Rabbits and other small mammals
- Toads and frogs
- Other snakes
The secret to what do snakes eat is in their jaws. Snakes have lower jaws that can become unhinged, which makes them able to swallow prey many times the width of their heads.
They have to unhinge their jaws because they can’t tear their prey up and eat them bit by bit like lions and other predators.
They also can’t chew their prey, because their teeth aren’t made for that. Some snakes have fangs that are attached to venom sacs in their heads.
When they bite their prey they put venom into their bodies. They wait till the prey dies or is paralyzed, grip them with their teeth and swallow them whole.
What do Garter Snakes eat?
Garter snakes are a family of pretty, non-venomous snakes. They’re the most common snake genus in North America. They live in meadows, forests, marshlands and are quite frequently seen in people’s yards and gardens. They can come in many colors, from black, dark brown, bright green and olive green and they’re usually striped with yellow, brown, green or even blue. Some also have black spots and some are completely black. A beautiful garter snake is the San Francisco garter snake, which has red, pink and black stripes.
Garter snakes eat earthworms, insects, toads, salamanders and, if they can catch one, small mammals like mice or voles. Since they like to live near water, they’ll occasionally catch a crayfish, a frog or even a fish. Baby garter snakes can be fed crickets, earthworms and mealworms until they’re old enough to handle larger fare. Baby garter snakes are born live, which means they’re not hatched from eggs, but their mother gives birth to them. Sometimes she can give birth to 20 or more at a time.
What do Corn Snakes eat?
Another entrant for the question “What do snakes eat?” is the corn snake. This snake is also called the red rat snake and is found in the southern United States. It’s nocturnal, which means it’s active at night. It’s also unusual for an American snake in that it can climb trees. It eats by constricting its prey and coils around what it catches very quickly. It’s a pretty snake whose skin has reddish or orange patches against a lighter background. It averages about three feet long but can grow to six feet long. It’s called a corn snake because it’s found in cornfields and when it’s bothered it’ll hiss and wriggle the tip of its tail to mimic a rattlesnake. However, it’s nonvenomous.
The corn snake eats rats and small birds when it can catch them. Unfortunately, small birds also means chickens and another one of its names is the chicken snake. But the corn snake’s usefulness as a rat hunter makes up for it occasionally eating chickens.