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Simply Snakes. Jill Frank February 2007 North Mississippi GK-8. Snakes are Reptiles!. Snakes are Vertebrates. Vertebrates are animals with backbones. Your backbone is the bumpy bone that runs along your back. There are several vertebrate classes Fish Amphibian Reptile Bird Mammal

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simply snakes

Simply Snakes

Jill Frank

February 2007

North Mississippi GK-8

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

snakes are vertebrates

Snakes are Reptiles!

Snakes are Vertebrates
  • Vertebrates are animals with backbones. Your backbone is the bumpy bone that runs along your back.
  • There are several vertebrate classes
    • Fish
    • Amphibian
    • Reptile
    • Bird
    • Mammal
  • Which class do snakes belong to?

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

why are snakes reptiles
Why are snakes reptiles?
  • Snakes breathe air.
  • Snakes are ectothermic (cold-blooded)-their body temperature depends on the environmental temperature.
  • The body of a snake is covered in scales.
  • Many snakes lay eggs.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

are snakes slimy
Are snakes slimy?
  • Snakes are not slimy.
  • Their body is covered in shiny scales that make them look wet.
  • They have modified scales on their belly that aid in movement.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

why do snakes shed their skin
Why do snakes shed their skin?
  • The scales that cover the snake’s body do not grow with the snake.
  • In order to grow, the snake needs to get rid of the old, small skin, and develop new skin.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

a snake shedding its skin
A Snake Shedding its Skin

Rubber Boa

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do snakes lay eggs
Do snakes lay eggs?
  • Yes, some snakes do lay eggs.
  • The eggs are soft shelled.
  • Sometimes snakes can have twins where two babies are in one egg.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

can snakes hear
Can snakes hear?
  • Snakes do not have ears, so they cannot hear.
  • However, snakes can feel vibrations on the ground that accompany many sounds.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

why do snakes stick out their tongue
Why do snakes stick out their tongue?
  • Snakes have nostrils which they use to smell.
  • Snakes can also stick out their tongue in order to help them smell.
  • Snakes catch smells on their forked tongue which they bring into their mouth where there are openings to a special smelling organ.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

how do snakes catch their food
How do snakes catch their food?
  • Some snakes grab their prey and immediately try to swallow it. Their backwards pointing teeth help keep the prey in their mouth.
  • The snake will swallow its prey whole.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

how do snakes catch their food1
How do snakes catch their food?
  • Some snakes grab their prey, coil around it, and squeeze it until it dies.
  • Then, the snake will swallow it whole.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

how do snakes catch their food2
How do snakes catch their food?
  • Some snakes have special teeth, called fangs, through which they inject venom into their prey when they bite it.
  • Then, the snake swallows the prey whole.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

how do snakes move
How do snakes move?
  • Undulation-body moves from side to side.
  • Concertina-tail grasps the ground and the head is extended, then the head grabs the ground and pulls the tail.
  • Rectilinear-body is straight and inches like a caterpillar.
  • Sidewinding-snake moves

very quickly and in a

sideways direction.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

what is the smallest snake
What is the smallest snake?
  • Blind Thread Snake
  • Lives in the Caribbean.
  • Could slither through the center of a pencil if the lead were removed.
  • Grows to less than 10 cm in length.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

what is the longest snake
What is the longest snake?
  • Reticulated Python
  • This snake lives on the continent of South America.
  • Can grow to lengths of 33 feet.
  • Although the longest, the python is not the largest. The green anaconda can be twice the weight of a similar length python.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

snake adaptation camouflage
Snake Adaptation-Camouflage

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snake adaptation camouflage1
Snake Adaptation-Camouflage

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

snake adaptation camouflage2

This is the snake’s head.

Can you see it now?

Snake Adaptation-Camouflage

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

snakes common to mississippi

Snakes Common to Mississippi

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

common garter snake
Common Garter Snake
  • Lives in marshes, meadows, woodlands, and hillsides.
  • Has dark colored body with three light colored stripes.
  • Can grow to lengths of 137 centimeters.
  • Can live up to 2 years.
  • Eats earthworms, snails, insects, small fish.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

southern hognose snake
Southern Hognose Snake
  • Lives in sandy or pine woods.
  • Has a yellow to light brown body with red specks.
  • Can grow to lengths of 56 centimeters.
  • Can flatten their heads and hiss.
  • Eats toads and lizards.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

green water snake
Green Water Snake
  • Lives along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Has a greenish or brownish body, with no real distinctive markings other than dark speckling.
  • Can grow to lengths of 50 inches.
  • Eats fishes, frogs, and tadpoles.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

corn snake
Corn Snake
  • Lives in wooded groves, rocky hillsides, meadowlands, and abandoned buildings.
  • Has an orange or brownish-yellow body, with large, black-edged red blotches down the middle of the back.
  • Can grow to lengths of 182 centimeters.
  • Eats mice, rats, birds, and bats.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

copperhead
Copperhead
  • Lives in wetlands and rocky forested hillsides.
  • Has copper-colored heads, and reddish-brown, coppery bodies with chestnut brown crossbands.
  • Can grow to lengths of 30 inches.
  • Eats mice, small birds, lizards, other snakes.
  • Has fangs that inject venom.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
  • Lives in swamps, streams, marshes, and drainage ditches.
  • Has a dark olive or black body.
  • Can grow to lengths of 74 inches.
  • Eats fish, frogs, lizards, small turtles, baby alligators, birds, and other snakes.
  • Has fangs that inject venom.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

pigmy rattlesnake
Pigmy Rattlesnake
  • Lives in rocky and partially wooded hillsides, pine woodlands, along riverbanks, and marshes.
  • Has a gray, brown, or black body, sometimes even pinkish or reddish.
  • Can grow to lengths of 61 centimeters.
  • Eats mice, lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, spiders.
  • Has specialized scales on the tail that are used as a rattle.
  • Has fangs that inject venom.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

eastern diamondback rattlesnake
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Lives in flatwoods, and occasionally will swim to islands off the Florida coast.
  • Can grow to lengths of 8 feet.
  • Body is olive or brown with a brownish gray banded tail.
  • Eats mice, rabbits, and squirrels.
  • Has specialized scales on the tail that are used as a rattle.
  • Has fangs that inject venom.

NSF North Mississippi GK-8

references
References
  • Animal Diversity Web. 2006. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/
  • Annotated Budak. 2005. Smilax. Accessed 9 February, 2007 http://budak.blogs.com/the_annotated_budak/2005/07/index.html
  • Barbados Free Press. 2006. Barbados big snake hunt. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2006/05/31/barbados-big-snake-hunt/
  • Canadian Museum of Nature. 2006. Nature of the Rideau River. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://nature.ca/rideau/b/b4b-e.html
  • Caribbean Herpetological Society. 2006. Thread snake. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.corriebusinessgroup.com/PetDepot/HS/photos.php
  • Caribbean Island Terrestrial Habitats. 2005. Seasonal habitats. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://scitec.uwichill.edu.bb/bcs/courses/Ecology/BL21C/ECOL2453_sc/Seasonal_communities.html
  • College of Staten Island. Frank Burbrink. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://163.238.8.180/~fburbrink/Field%20Work/SE%202005/index.htm
  • Crowley Museum and Nature Center. Reptiles. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.crowleymuseumnaturectr.org/reptiles.htm
  • Cummins, R. Hays. 2002. Tropical ecosystems. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/html/2tropecoimages.html
  • Dorling Kindersley. 2004. Desert reptiles. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/static/cs/uk/11/licensing/children.html
  • Ecology Asia. 2007. Sunbeam snake. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://ecologyasia.com/verts/snakes/sunbeam_snake.htm
  • Florida and Georgia Snake and Lizard Photos. 2005. Florida water snakes. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.southalley.com/album_nerodia2.html
  • Henderson State University. 2004. Nature trivia, hognose snake. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.hsu.edu/content.aspx?id=1193
  • Florida Museum of Natural History. 2000. Green water snake. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/FL-GUIDE/Nerodiacyclopion.htm
  • Iowa State University. Hognose snakes. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.public.iastate.edu/~curteck/hognose.htm
  • Means, Bruce. 2003. Around the world 2001. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.brucemeans.com/photo_world_2001a.htm
  • Microscopy-UK. 2004. Red-tail boa constrictor. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artnov04macro/pwsnake.html
  • Missouri Department of Conservation. 2004. Snakes of Missouri. Accessed 23 July 2006. http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/herpetol/snake/
  • Nature’s Almanac. 2004. How to hatch reptile eggs. Accessed 23 July 2006. http://www.naturealmanac.com/archive/hatching_reptile/index.html
  • Nova Scotia Snakes. More snake facts and pictures. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/snakes/sfacts.htm
  • Reptile Review. Snake pictures. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.reptilereview.com/snakes.htm
  • Rubber Boa. 2001. Shedding. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.rubberboas.com/Content/shedding.html
  • Silver Clay Serpentarium. Rat snake photo gallery. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.scserp.com/SCS_Photo_Gallery_Rat_Snakes.htm
  • Timber Rattlesnake. Accessed 9 February 2007. http://www.timberrattlesnake.net/
  • US Army Installation Management Agency. Venomous snakes. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.stewart.army.mil/dpw/wildlife/venomous_snakes.htm
  • University of Georgia. 2005. Crotalus adamanteus. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://pick4.pick.uga.edu/mp/20p?res=640&see=I_AD49
  • Venomous Snakes of Texas. 2007. Western cottonmouth. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.texas-venomous.com/leucostoma.html
  • Warwick Mills. 2006. Hunting clothes tested with live snakes. Accessed 9 February, 2007. http://www.warwickmills.com/Hunting-Clothes-Testing.html
  • Wikipedia. 2007. Snakes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake

NSF North Mississippi GK-8