Snakes are very misunderstood animals. Through programs like Critter Connections and Supper with the Snakes, we work to show visitors that snakes can be very gentle. Although you can’t meet our snakes in-person right now, we still want to highlight how amazing they are. Read on to learn more about snakes!
How do snakes smell?
As humans, we smell with our noses…but snakes use their tongues to smell! They can also smell in different directions. Check out this video to learn more. Since snakes don’t have very good eyesight, it’s important for them to have the ability to smell directionally. It helps them find food and avoid danger.
Guiding Question: Why is it important for snakes to be able to smell in different directions? What does it help them find? Have you seen a snake use its tongue to smell?
Snakes aren’t slimy!
Some people think that snakes are slimy, but that’s not true! Snakes are reptiles, not amphibians, so they don’t need to keep their skin moist. Instead, their skin is a little bumpy, dry, and can actually be kind of soft! Their scales are actually made out of the same material as our fingernails.
Guiding Question: Have you ever touched a snake? What did it feel like? Is there something in our house that feels similar to a snake?
Having a snack with a snake!
Our friend, Elena, gave our gartersnake a snack and recorded the whole thing! You can watch the video here. After Gertie, the snake, captures the worm, notice how she pulls the worm deeper into her mouth. She can unhinge her jaw and “walk” the left then right side of her mouth along the worm until she consumes the whole thing!
Guiding Question: What do you notice about how Gertie ate the worm? How does she eat differently than we do? What did you notice about where Gertie lives? Do you think that would help her find food in the wild?
Make your own snake pal!
We’ve learned so much about snakes, let’s make our own! All you’ll need are scissors, paper plates, some string, and something to color with. Click here for the instructions.
Guiding Question: How can we make our snake look like the snakes we’ve seen today? How is our snake similar to real snakes? How is it different?
Behind the scenes!
Even while we’re closed, our animal care and engagement teams are making sure that our snakes’ enclosures are cleaned every day and that they always have fresh water. Check out some behind-the-scenes shots in our Instagram highlights.