Identifying Poisonous and Non-Poisonous Snakes: What You Need to Know - Snake

Identifying Poisonous and Non-Poisonous Snakes: What You Need to Know


Snakes are fascinating creatures that often elicit fear and curiosity among people. Whether you are a hiker, camper, or just someone who enjoys being outdoors, it is essential to know how to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. Being able to recognize them will help you determine how to respond in case of an encounter, and it could even be a matter of life or death.

One of the first things to understand is that the vast majority of snakes are not poisonous. In fact, only about 20% of the world’s snakes have venom that is harmful to humans. That said, it is still crucial to approach all snakes with caution and respect.

There are a few key identification features that can help you distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. One of the most significant distinguishing factors is the shape of the snake’s head. Venomous snakes typically have triangular heads that are wider than their necks, while non-poisonous snakes will have heads that are more rounded. Additionally, poisonous snakes will have elongated, hollow fangs, while non-poisonous snakes will have short, blunt teeth.

Another distinguishing characteristic is the pattern and coloration of the snake’s skin. However, it is essential to note that this can be challenging to determine as some species of non-poisonous snakes can look similar to venomous ones. Some venomous snakes, like the coral snake, have brightly colored bands of red, yellow, and black that can be easily recognized. However, other poisonous snakes, like the copperhead and cottonmouth, have less distinct patterns or are mostly brown or gray, which can make them harder to identify.

Behavior can also be an indicator of whether a snake is poisonous or not. Venomous snakes tend to be more aggressive and will often strike if they feel threatened. In contrast, non-poisonous snakes will usually try to escape if they encounter a human or another predator.

If you do come across a snake, it is essential to stay calm and avoid provoking the animal. If you are unable to identify the snake, it is best to treat it as if it were venomous and keep your distance. In case of a bite, seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to suck the venom out or apply a tourniquet, as these actions can lead to further complications.

In conclusion, knowing how to identify poisonous and non-poisonous snakes is a crucial skill that can help you stay safe while exploring the outdoors. Remember to approach all snakes with caution and respect and seek help immediately if necessary. With this knowledge, you can safely admire these fascinating creatures and appreciate their role in our ecosystem.

Like it? Share with your friends!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
The Classic Internet Listicles
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format