Happy Year of the Snake – 10 Intriguing Snake Facts
People around the world are celebrating the Chinese New Year today – it’s the Year of the Snake. To mark the occasion, here are some lesser-known facts about these fascinating reptiles:
- Snakes and other reptiles have pain receptors and respond to painful stimuli just as humans do.
- In the exotic-skins industry, hunters often nail snakes to trees and skin them alive before tossing them in a pile to die.
- Flying tree snakes can glide between trees over distances of 24 metres or more.
- To make it easier for workers to skin them, snakes sometimes have a hose forced between their jaws and are pumped full of water until they swell up. It can take them several days to die from shock or dehydration.
- Many species of snakes, including pythons and monocled cobras, are in danger of extinction because of the largely unregulated exotic-skins trade.
- The smallest snake in the world, the Barbados thread snake, is just 4 inches long.
- Snakes are acutely sensitive. Their bellies can detect even the faintest vibrations in the air and on the ground, allowing them to sense the approach of other animals.
- Of the 2,900 species of snakes in the world, only 13 per cent are venomous.
- Female pythons make a nest and coil up on their eggs to keep them safe until they hatch.
- Each year, half a million python skins are exported from Southeast Asia alone. The European fashion industry accounts for 96 per cent of the python-skin market.
If you want to help snakes and take a stand against the cold-blooded cruelty of the exotic-skins trade, please watch and share this shocking exposé of reptile abuse in Indonesia. Then pledge to keep snakeskin and other exotic skins out of your wardrobe.