MYTHS ABOUT SNAKES BELIEVED TO BE TRUE

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Myth 1 : Snakes drink milk

Snakes are cold blooded, carnivorous reptiles to whom milk is a heavy food to digest. Snakes drink milk on Nagara Panchami because they will be dehydrated and stressed for 30-45 days before Panchami by snake charmers. Only out of thirst it will drink milk and you know out of thirst it will drink tea or cola too.

Usually snakes don’t drink milk and it is not its main food.

Myth 2 : Snakes takes revenge and remembers it for 12 years

This myth seems to be true because of the movies however it is false. Snakes do not possess such intelligence to remember it for 12 years. If so herpetologists (people who study snakes and reptiles) would have been chased by snakes and none of them have seemed to have experienced it.

Myth 3 : Snake dance to the tunes of Snake charmers

Snakes basically cannot hear and they never dance to the tunes of Snake charmers. Snakes think that moving charmer and his instruments will attack them and hence they quickly change their position and start moving their head. That’s it. It looks like snake is dancing but actually it is not.

Myth 4 : Rat snakes cohabit with cobras

Both are two different species and snakes only cohabit with their own species. For them rat snake is a food and they never cohabit with them.

Myth 5 : Every Snakes lay eggs

Only the king cobra lay eggs not every snake. There are few species of snakes which lay eggs and they are known as oviparous.

Myth 6 : Snakes carry diamond on their forehead

Mythologically it may be true but till now no one found a snake carrying diamond on its forehead. Scientifically it’s a myth.

Myth 7 : Snakes in India are poisonous and they spit venom

Only spitting Cobras can spit venom but fortunately they are not found in India.

Our ancestors have made these myths and supported for a reason that one should not hurt snakes and few got spread by snake charmers as it is bread and butter for them.

Myth 8 : Rat Snakes in India are poisonous

Rat snakes are Non- venomous, rodent-eating snakes

Myth 9 : Some Snakes grow a beard as they get older.

Snakes are reptiles and do not have any hair on their bodies let alone a beard. It is impossible for them to have beards for their bodies do not have any ability of growing hair.

Myth 10 : Some Flying Snakes can pierce somebody’s forehead or pull out their eyes

A Flying Snake does not actually fly but only glides through the air by extending its ribs and pulling in the underside. It can glide a distance of 330 feet or 100 metre. Green vine snake (different species) have an elongated head which looks like an arrow, but it is soft and never can pierce.

Myth 11 : There are two headed Snakes

The Snake-charmers spread the myth about the Two-headed Snakes only to maintain the mythological status of the snakes in India so they can continue attracting large crowds. They usually burn the tail of a red sand boa and draw eyes on the tail end and show the people as heads on both sides.

Myth 12 : They Dislocate Their Lower Jaws While Feeding.

When we watch a huge African rock python gulp down an entire antelope (unless you’re squeamish and/or a hoofed mammal). We wonder how could any animal engulf something that’s bigger than its own head? Popular wisdom holds that serpents can do so by detaching their jaws. The truth is easier to swallow.

Flexibility, not dislocation, is the name of the game. A snake’s lower jaw is split into two halves called “mandibles.” At rest, their tips touch to form the snaky equivalent of a chin. Yet, these bones aren’t fused together like ours are. Instead, a stretchy ligament connects the mandibles and enables them to separate once dinner starts. Similar equipment enhances the upper jaw’s maneuverability as well.

Myth 13 : You Can Tell a Rattlesnake’s Age by Counting its Rattles.

This premise makes two false assumptions:
A) the critters get exactly one new rattle each year and
B) existing rattles are never lost. Let’s start with the first claim. After each shedding of the skin, rattlesnakes obtain another tail bulb. But, for babies and juveniles, that event can take place as often as every few weeks. In contrast, elderly specimens might only shed on a bi-annual basis. Moreover, rattles don’t last forever—over time, they become prone to breaking off.

Myth 14 : Certain Snakes Are “Poisonous.”

Though people tend to use them interchangeably, “poisonous” and “venomous” aren’t synonyms. Poisons work by getting eaten, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Venom, on the other hand, is any toxic substance that gets injected into its target via fang, stinger, etc. Poisonous snakes are incredibly rare, with the Asian tiger keelback (Rhabdophis tigrinus)—which stores toxins in special glands on its neck—being among the few documented examples. On the other hand, more than 600 venomous species are currently at large.

Myth 15 : Snakes Are Slimy.

Amphibians secrete mucous all over their skin. Ergo, most frogs and toads have wet, slippery hides. Snakes, being reptiles, do nothing of the sort. Instead, they’re covered with dry scales, and can feel like smooth sand running through your fingers when held.

Myth 16 : Cottonmouths Can’t Bite Underwater.

When your scientific name (Agkistrodon piscivorus) literally means “hooked-toothed fish-eater,” people naturally assume that you spend a lot of time in and around water. This assumption isn’t wrong: throughout the American southeast, these semiaquatic predators are a common sight. However, familiarity doesn’t always breed understanding. Despite their knack for hunting prey while submerged, one dangerous myth claims that cottonmouths can’t strike underwater. They can and do. So, whether you’re out hiking or going for a dip, please exercise caution around them. 

Myth 17 : They’re Mostly Tail.

Serpentine survival depends on numerous vital organs (housed between two rows of ribs). The empty, white area near the end  that’s the tail, which usually doesn’t even take up a fifth of the snake’s total body length. Regardless, it can still take on important functions. Consider the aptly-named spider-tailed viper, whose tail tip apparently lures over arachnid-eating birds because it comes with long, skinny scales that resemble spider legs.

Myth 18 : Snakes are deaf.

Since they lack eardrums, naturalists once thought that our serpentine friends couldn’t hear airborne noises. Fairly new research disproves this. Snakes still possess inner ears, which connect to their jawbones. While resting or slithering, they can sense vibrations in the ground (such as footsteps). Once vibrations are picked up by the jaw, the soundwaves are sent to the brain and processed.

So what about vibrations that pass through the air? In2011, biologist Christian Christensen monitored the brains of a few ball pythons (Python regius). As he discovered, his test subjects had no trouble hearing low-frequency airborne sounds because their skulls vibrated in accordance with them. However, Christensen’s pythons weren’t as sensitive to higher-pitched noises.

While further research may disprove this theory, it is generally believed that cobras sway to the music of snake charmers not because of the sounds emanating from their instruments, but because the animals interpret the flute in motion as a potential threat.

Myth 19 :   Rattlesnakes Always Rattle Before Lashing Out.

Snakes may not be the spiteful villains you see in cartoons, but when danger strikes, they sometimes can’t help but strike back. Rattlers warn potential attackers by vibrating their trademark tails. But here’s the thing: they don’t have to sound the alarm. On occasion, they’ll just skip the rattling entirely. Always tread carefully through rattler country.

Myth 20 : Baby Snakes Inject More Venom Than Adults Do. 

Technically, the jury’s still out on this one, but scientists lack any compelling evidence to support it. Old-school rumours assert that, among venomous species, babies deliver more potent bites because they haven’t yet learned self-control and will inject far more venom than necessary. Seasoned adults, meanwhile, are said to use more conservative doses.

No study has yet verified that snakes consciously dictate how much venom they dish out. Furthermore, even a small nip from a full-sized specimen probably expels more of the stuff than the biggest bites from hatchlings of the same species ever could.

Myth 21 : Snakes eats its own egg

In this case, it depends as some snakes don’t lay an egg they bare live snakes and their children stay only for 24 hours with mother snake. In addition there are few snakes that lay eggs & eat only damaged or unfertilized egg to recover from the reproduction process, however, there is some egg eating snakes that do eat some of the eggs laid by them. They do this only out of laziness or due to the scarcity of food. Usually, they gulp the entire egg similar to their prey or crack the shell and consume the yolk.

Myth 22 : Snakes don’t have bone

Fact: Snakes are vertebrates which denote that they have bones, which in the case of snakes generally has lots of ribs skeleton & a brain.

Myth 22 : Can snake change their color

Several snakes come with a camouflage coloring that conceals them from killers.

Snake Rescue Volunteers In Goa

Do not panic if you see a snake! As you know now, not all of them are venomous.  If you cannot identify it, do not kill it. Instead, call one of the volunteers listed below. There are many volunteers  who will come immediately, catch the snake and release it back into the wild. Some of these volunteers will request for a small fee to cover fuel expenses.

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