Optional

Snakes



Rattlesnake: poisonous and common snake in Brazil

What are

Snakes are reptiles belonging to the order. Squamata. They are also known as snakes and have as main feature the absence of legs, which lost during the evolutionary process.

Main features of snakes:

- Have the ability, due to anatomical characteristics, to ingest large prey (whole and without the need to chew them).

- They have cylindrical and elongated body shape.

- They have no apparent limbs (legs).

- Can open the mouth, reaching up to 180 degrees.

- Some species of snakes are venomous, ie have the ability to produce poison through glands in the mouth. These poisonous snakes inject venom into prey using inoculant teeth (specific for this task).

- Have the body covered by scales, which work as a mechanical protection and also to prevent dehydration of the animal.

- Most snakes are oviparous.

- They feed mainly on mammals, birds, fish and even other reptiles.

- With respect to habitat, they are found in almost every region of the world except in very cold weather.

Poisonous Snakes from Brazil

There are approximately seventy species of poisonous snakes in Brazil. Many of them are extremely dangerous, as poison can even lead to death.

Snake groups and examples:

- Crotalines: are the ones that cause the most serious accidents in Brazil. In this group we can cite as examples the following snakes: toad's mouth, jararaca, urutu, surucucurana, guinea fowl, rattlesnake and cruiser.

- Elapine: snakes that live near rivers and forests. They are responsible for few accidents in Brazil (about 2%), but have neurotoxic poison (affect the nervous system). We can cite as examples of this group of snakes: coral snake and sea serpent.

Curiosities:

- The largest snake in the world is the python, whose length can reach up to 10 meters. However, the largest poisonous snake in the world is the surucucu, which can reach up to four and a half meters in length. Its habitat is the forests of the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest.

- The heaviest snake in the world is the green anaconda whose weight can reach up to 250 pounds.

- Large snakes live in the hottest regions of the planet (equatorial and tropical climate areas). This is because more heat is needed to warm up their large bodies in addition to the abundance of prey.

* Learn more about snakes at the Butantan Institute website.