10 Unusual and Amazing Snakes

Friday - 5 January, 2018
nature
203 views
SHARE THIS POST ON

There are about 3,000 species of snakes in the world; since their appearance during the age of dinosaurs they have adapted to many different lifestyles and evolved into many different and often bizarre appearances. I give you ten of the most amazing and unusual snakes in the world.

10 Elephant trunk snake

This weird snake is found mostly in Indonesia, although some close relatives are also found in Australia. It gets its name from its unusual skin, which is wrinkled and baggy, and gives the impression of being several sizes too large for the snake. The scales are also unusual; they are large and knobby, hence the snake’s alternate common name, ”warty snake”. They can grow up to 2.5 meters long. Elephant trunk snakes are completely aquatic, and are practically helpless on land; they can’t slither because they lack the broad scales in the belly that are common to most snakes, and an important aid when moving on land. Elephant trunk snakes feed on fish, including catfish and eels; they lack venom, so they use constriction to kill prey; their big knobby scales are an adaptation to hold slippery fish and constrict them underwater.

9 Tentacled snake

Another aquatic snake from southeastern Asia, this is a quite unique species, the last surviving member of its genus. Its most notable feature are the strange fleshy tentacles on its snout. These tentacles are actually highly sensitive mechanosensors, which allow the snake to detect movement in the water and strike at any unfortunate fish that swims nearby. Another interesting trait is the tentacled snake’s incredible attack speed; it takes only 15 milliseconds for the snake to capture its prey. But fish have incredible reflexes and a fast strike is not enough sometimes, so the tentacled snake uses a clever trick to make fish swim towards danger.

8 Long nosed vine snake

Once again native to southeastern Asia, the long nosed vine snake is a highly advanced arboreal predator; unlike other snakes, it has excellent binocular vision, which allows it to strike at prey with great accuracy. Its eyes are also unusual in having horizontal, keyhole-shaped pupils. Its vine-like body hides the snake from both predators and prey (even the tongue is bright green!) and its light weight allows it to move quickly through the foliage and even reach from one branch to another with half of its body on the air! They feed mostly on lizards and frogs, and although they are venomous, they pose no serious threat to humans; pain and swelling are usually the only symptoms after being bitten by a vine snake, and the symptoms disappear within a few days.

7 Langaha nasuta

This is easily one of the weirdest reptiles in the world. Just like the Asian vine snake, the Langaha snake (also known as the leaf-nosed snake) is adapted to an arboreal lifestyle and feeds mostly on lizards. Its most interesting trait is, of course, the weird ”horn” or projection on its snout. Both genders have this weird ornament, but males and females look very different from each other; males are yellowish and have smooth skin and a sharp, pointed ”horn”, while females have rough-looking brown scales and a flat, leaf-shaped and serrated horn. This is one of the few cases in which a snake’s gender can be determined easily at first sight. Langaha nasuta snakes are found only in Madagascar’s endangered rain forests. It is venomous and its bite can be extremely painful to humans but not life-threatening.

6 Atheris hispida

Found in the rain forests of Central Africa, this small but highly venomous viper is noted for its huge eyes and keeled, bristle-like scales which give it an almost feathered appearance (hence one of its common names, ”feathered tree viper”). Atheris vipers grow up to 75 cms long, with males being longer than females (unusual among snakes). Like all vipers, Atheris has long, retractable fangs in the front of its upper jaw; there is no known antidote to its venom, which causes blood clotting difficulties, pain and swelling, and often, death. Fortunately, these vipers usually live far away from human settlements, and therefore Atheris bites are exceedingly rare.

5 Horned viper

Found in the deserts of Northern Africa and the Middle East, horned vipers are small, usually under 50 cms long. They often have a pair of horns over the eyes, but there are also some individuals that lack them completely, and, therefore, can be easily mistaken for other vipers. They are venomous, but their bite is usually non fatal to humans. When threatened they rub their coils together to produce a warning sound before they strike. The horned viper was formally named ”Cerastes cerastes” in 1768, by Austrian naturalist Nicolaus Laurenti. Cerastes was a mythical Greek monster, a serpent that hid under the sand in the desert and ambushed any passing creature, using its horns as a lure. Ironically, the horned viper itself may have been the real life inspiration for the mythical Cerastes! Indeed, the horned viper hunts by hiding under the sand (leaving only its horns, eyes and nose exposed) and striking at any small animal (mostly rodents and lizards) that comes close. Ancient observers may have exaggerated the snake’s size and dangerousness, giving origin to the Cerastes myth, which Laurenti remembered when naming the horned viper centuries later. The horned viper’s horns, however, are not used as a lure; to date, no one really knows what the horns are used for, or why some horned vipers have them and some don’t.

4 Burrowing asp

I already introduced this snake in the Sabertoothed Creature list. However, no list on Unusual Snakes would be complete without this one. The Burrowing Asp is a smallish snake from Africa that spends most of its time underground. It feeds on rodents, and has enlarged fangs that function basically as venomous saberteeth, protruding out of the mouth when in use. This means that the Burrowing asp can bite without even opening its mouth- which is very useful, since it prevents dirt from entering the snake’s mouth during the struggle.

3 Tiger keelback

Also known as yamakagashi, or Japanese water snake, this species is found mostly in Eastern Asia. It is small, rarely exceeding one meter in length, and very shy, so much in fact that they were considered to be harmless for a long time, until someone died of a yamakagashi bite in the 80s. Fortunately, due to their docile temperament, these snakes are very unlikely to bite and fatalities remain exceedingly uncommon. Also, since their venomous fangs are located in the rear of the jaws, they can’t inject their venom as easily as other snakes.

2 Flying snake

Flying snakes are found in the rainforests of India and southeastern Asia, and, despite their rather alarming name, they can’t actually fly. They are, however, accomplished gliders. When a Flying Snake wants to go from one tree to another, it launches itself into the air while flaring out its ribs and sucking in its stomach, thus flattening and widening its body and turning into a pseudo-concave wing. As amazing as it may sound, Flying Snakes are even better gliders than flying squirrels. While squirrels can glide up to 60 meters from one tree to another, Flying Snakes can glide up to 100 meters or more, and they actually ”slither” in mid air, which gives them better stability and some degree of control over their ”flight”. Flying snakes are venomous, but not dangerous to humans. They feed mostly on lizards and other small animals, and spend most of their time up trees.

1 Sea snake

Sea snakes are easily the most unusual of all snakes. They belong to the same family as cobras and coral snakes (Elapidae), but they have adapted to a completely marine lifestyle; in some species, the adaptations are simply incredible. There are 62 species recognized to date, and they are found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans; they are all extremely venomous, with some species, such as the Beaked Sea Snake, having venom up to ten times more powerful than a cobra’s. One sea snake species, the Belcher’s sea snake, is considered by experts to be the most toxic of all snakes, marine or otherwise. Fortunately, sea snakes are usually docile and human fatalities are exceedingly rare. Most sea snakes give birth to live young; this means that they don’t have to return to a beach to lay eggs as sea turtles do (except for a few species). As a result, they have practically lost the broad scales on their belly, which other snakes use to move on land, and most sea snakes are completely helpless out of the water. Some species are indeed so well adapted to the sea, that they can even absorb oxygen directly from the water, through their skin! They also have special glands on their tongue, which expel the excess of salt from the snake’s organism every time it flicks its tongue.

RELATED POST
Wednesday - 17 January, 2018
59 VIEWS
5 Largest Living Snakes In The World

Giant snakes make be scary, but they are amazing in many ways. You may wonder how these creatures swallow animals that are bigger than themselves. Anyway, we always want to know more about the big snakes. Here the list of 5 largest living snakes in the world.

Sunday - 7 January, 2018
219 VIEWS
10 Lesser-Known Venomous Snakes

Everyone knows cobras, rattlesnakes and coral snakes, but there are plenty of venomous snakes around the world that are seldom heard of. This is a small selection of these unknown, and often deadly, species.

Friday - 5 January, 2018
203 VIEWS
10 Unusual and Amazing Snakes

There are about 3,000 species of snakes in the world; since their appearance during the age of dinosaurs they have adapted to many different lifestyles and evolved into many different and often bizarre appearances. I give you ten of the most amazing and unusual snakes

Thursday - 4 January, 2018
244 VIEWS
5 Terrifying And Dangerous Lizards In The World

Reptile attack: Nothing strikes fear into the human mind faster than the clash between prehistoric crocodiles or venomous snakes and modern man. However, we are not talking about these well-known dangers. In this shocking list, we look at the horrific Monster Lizards

Get Amazing article in your inbox

Subscribe to our Newsletter and never miss a article

POPULAR POST
10 Best Inspirational and Motivational Movies

Here is a list of top 10 best inspirational and motivational movies. Some of the movies are based on real life incidents, while others are great work

10 Countries With The Highest Murder Rates

The countries with the highest murder rates may surprise you. It’s a known fact that the modern world is everything but a safe place. But it’s

Top 5 Most Spectacular Space Photos From NASA

NASA have incredible records of space achievement than any other space agency in the world. From successful manned mission to Moon in 1969 to on

10 High Tech and Advanced Wrist Watches

Most of the people think why to wear a watch when they already have smartphones always in their hand. Well, it's a same question like why to have a

Nasa discovered Hottest planet in universe

Researchers have discovered the hottest planet ever known, with a surface temperature of 4,327º C – almost as hot as our Sun’s surface. While

10 Most Unique Smartphones in The World

Smartphones have become our biggest friends in a day to day life. We probably spend more time with our smartphone than any other device daily. But

Ek Deewaani - Chapter 1

प्यार एक छोटा सा शब्द ! चाहे तो किसी की जिंदगी आबाद कर दे

Top 10 Best Science Fiction movies

A long time ago, in a land far away... there were no space movies. Luckily, we have lots and the Guardian and Observer's critics have picked the 10

10 Strongest Currencies in the World

Which is the strongest currency in the world? As our list of 10 strongest currencies in the world unfolds, you will come to know that the United

10 death-defying stunts done by Tom Cruise

Onn the surface, Tom Cruise has a reputation for being a soft celeb. Despite an increasing collection of leading roles in big budget action flicks,

10 Best Animation Movies For Your Kids

As a parent, only you can help your kid understand the concept of morality. But, kids typically don’t like lectures!. So, how do you teach them

Top 10 Foods For Increasing Height

Height has always been a matter of concern for all of us. People of short height often suffer from low confidence and inferiority complex when they

Know when the milk becomes poison for us?

Milk is considered to be very good for our health and there are many positive advantages of drinking milk. But milk also has many disadvantages of

10 Smallest Birds In The World

Mother Nature has the power to mesmerize us every now and then with new findings and unique organisms be it big or small or weak or strong. Usually

10 Fastest Trains In The World 2018

Of course, trains can’t fly over oceans like airplanes. But that doesn’t mean trains can’t run as fast as planes. Fortunately, some trains in