So you want to be able to identify poisonous snakes? Most people never think that they will come across a venomous or poisonous snake during their travels. But as more and more people engage in hiking or camping adventures to wilderness areas, the chances increase that they will encounter a “hot” snake or two. This article will offer tips on identifying poisonous snakes for the average person.
Identifying Poisonous Snakes Is Not As Hard As You Think
The first step to identifying poisonous snakes is to do your homework. You should do some research and familiarize yourself with the kinds of venomous or poisonous snakes that may inhabit the area you are going to visit. Libraries or the internet are good places to find pictures.
Now once you have stumbled across an unknown snake, the next step to make identifying poisonous snakes is if you can get a good look at the snake while maintaining your distance. Pay close attention to and take particular note of its head.
The main key to identifying poisonous snakes is that most venomous snakes have a head which is decidedly wider than its body. It will be rather flat, even heart-shaped. Their noses tend to be more pointed too.
Another key to identifying poisonous snakes is to look and determine if there is either a ridge or a pit between the nostril and the eye. This indentation or “pit” is actually a heat sensor and helps the snake identify the size and location of their prey by the level of heat emitted. Common “pit vipers” include Rattlesnakes, Cottonmouths and Copperheads.
Colored bands can also makes identifying poisonous snakes easy. Rattlesnakes have a diamond shaped pattern running its entire length. Coral Snakes have Alternating red, yellow and black bands. A saying to help you remember is “where red touches yellow, you must leave that fellow”
And Copperheads have dark bands across their bodies that resemble hourglasses.
Identifying poisonous snakes that are members of the rattlesnake family can be made with your ears alone. The “rattling hiss” that comes from the rattles on their tails lets you know quickly that a rattler is around.
The last and best guide to identifying poisonous snakes, are the fangs. While, some aggressive snakes can strike before you know they are there, most poisonous snakes will put on a display showing their fangs. Now don’t put any of your body parts in danger but if possible get a good look at the snake’s mouth. Non poisonous species all have a row of tiny teeth. Only venomous ones have fangs.
With the tips mentions above identifying poisonous snakes should be easier for you, and you can take the proper precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.