If you feel chilly you begin to shiver and if you feel warm you begin to perspire. Both these actions result in you controlling the temperature of your body independently of the temperature of the air. Birds can also do this but reptiles cannot. Let’s know why is this snake seeking the shade?
This is why birds and mammals are spoken of as warm blooded reptiles as cold blooded. A snake’s blood is not always cold, however. It is true that a snake has no insulating fur or feathers to prevent heat loss from its body, but it does have a limited amount of control over its temperature.
Its method of control is simple: in the morning it warms up its body by basking in the sun. Once it is warmed up it can begin the day’s activities. If the snake ten becomes overheated it will seek the shadow of a rock or bush which to cool off. The body temperature of a snake is therefore always more or less that of its surroundings.
What is a hibernaculum?
In temperate countries the temperature in the –winter months remains low cover a long period. Snakes and other reptiles would soon die if they were exposed to such cold and so they hibernate. By hiding themselves away in underground holes and burrows made by other animals they escape the low temperatures and pass the winter in a torpid state.
This means that all their bodily actions are slowed down so that hardly any energy is used up. Some snakes hibernate on their own but others return each autumn to a communal hole or hibernacula.
Forty snakes have been found sharing the same winter quarters, and a popular hole is often used by more than one species.
How does a snake swallow its prey?
Snakes catch live animals and eat them whole. They can swallow prey several times larger than their head. This is made possible by very loosely jointed jaws which enable the mouth to be opened wide.
Backward pointing teeth grip the prey while the mouth is worked over the animal. Lots of saliva helps the meal to slip down the snake’s throat.
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