Snakes

10 Facts About How A Snake Can Smell

garter snake ken hip flicker sharing

Garter snake with forked tongue (Photo: Ken Hipp, Flicker Sharing).

The World of Snake Smell-Tasting

When you ask people what creeps them out about snakes, it's often something like, "They're slimy" (which they aren't) or "When the stick their tongue out at me it's scary." This got me to thinking about an idea for this blogĀ  post, because most people don't really understand why a snake sticks it tongue out at you and what it's really doing. There's a lot more going on than snake razzberries or just "smelling", especially when the tongue goes back in the snake's mouth. So, here are 10 facts about how a snake can smell:

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Copper Head Snakes and Water Snakes

Michael McCarthy flicker sharing 3 copperhead

Copperhead snake (Photo: Michale McCarthy, Flicker sharing)

Identification of the venomous copperhead snake and the harmless northern banded water snake

In the Eastern US one of the biggest fear of homeowners and people who work or play outside, is of venomous spiders and snakes. However, in fear of these creatures, other non-venomous and beneficial species are often misidentified and killed. Today's post is how to tell if a snake is a copperhead snake (Agkistrodon contortorix) or the harmless northern banded water snake (Nerodia sipedon). Both look similar, but they have some key differences.

Let's Begin with Copperheads....

Copperhead snakes are the most common venomous snake in the Eastern US. They are in the pit viper family (Crotalidae). They are also in the genus Agkistrodone, which includes the cottonmouth or water moccasin. It is a shy snake that is usually not aggressive, and its bites are rarely fatal, though they can be painful.

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