Meet The Snake
Snake facts are interesting to know, and important to understand for safety reasons too. The Skunk Whisperer® team is highly trained and experienced when it comes to snake control and we love working with them. When snakes become a problem we can help.
Venomous Oklahoma Snakes - Pit Vipers
Venomous snakes, also known as pit vipers, found in the state of Oklahoma include the dangerous Cottonmouth, Copperhead and Rattlesnake. For safety reasons, all snakes should be approached as venomous (harmful), and handled only by professionals.
Although snakes are often described as "poisonous" in error, snakes are not actually "poisonous" - they are venomous. There is actually a distinct difference between the definition of the two words.
The word venomous describes an animal's ability to "inject" venom into a wound, in the case of a snake, its fangs would create a wound and then inject the venom into it. Like many poisons, depending on the animal, the venom received during a snake bite can be deadly.
The Cottonmouth snake, pictured just above, is sometimes called a Water Moccasins. Cottonmouths are a heavy bodied water snake - but not all Oklahoma water snakes are Cottonmouths. A Cottonmouth often swims on top of the water with their head in the air. The Cottonmouth snake gets its nickname from their defensive habit of opening their mouth to expose it’s white lining when threatened, as seen in the photo above.
Copperheads, like the two shown immediately below, are found often in woodland and rocky areas close to water. Piles of rocks, logs and debris are particularly attractive areas of shelter for them.
As you can see, they have a distinctive pattern with hour glass shaped markings, that helps them blend in with the surrounding environment, and can often be very hard to spot when mixed in with leaves and landscape.
The copperhead gets it’s name from it’s copper colored head and is often orange or copper in color. However, some copperheads, such as the first one shown in the photos above, may be more brown than orange in tone.
The rattlesnake is often associated with Arizona, New Mexico and the dry desert states. However, several species of rattlesnake can be found throughout the state of Oklahoma too. The types of poisonous rattlesnakes found throughout the state of Oklahoma include the Pygmy, Prairie, Timber, Western, Diamondback and Massasauga. Rattlesnakes get their name from the rattle sound their tail makes when threatened.
Fun & Interesting Facts About Snakes
There are so many interesting facts about snakes and the snake information available today is fascinating.
Snakes are reptiles which puts them in the same animal family as turtles, lizards and crocodiles.
The term “poisonous” is a quite commonly used verbiage to describe snakes with fangs and venom, those we think of as dangerous and poisonous, however the word “venomous” is actually the correct term.
Snakes are known for crawling along the ground but they can be quite good at climbing up trees, walls and other surfaces to reach attics and other high resting areas.
The snake in the photo below was discovered by the Skunk Whisperer® in a Tulsa homeowner's garage door mechanism attached to the ceiling.
Snakes have most of the same internal bodily organs that we do, including a heart, lungs, gall bladder, kidney, pancreas and stomach, but they do not have eyelids, external protruding ears, arms or legs.
They are not slimy but are covered with smooth to the touch armor like plates (scales) that help protect them from hot sand, tree bark, rocks and other rough surfaces. Snakes moult, which means they shed their skin seasonally during the year, at which time a new layer, waiting and ready, immediately takes over.
All snakes use their tongue to smell and analyze their surrounding environment, including for prey and intruders such as humans. They also detect vibrations in the ground and air to help determine the size of available prey or other approaching animal. Some snakes, including most poisonous ones, have an infrared sensing function that allows them to locate warm blooded prey and other such animals that generate heat.
Snakes move by contracting and releasing their muscles, moving forward or sideways quickly. In spite of popular belief, snakes do not chase humans, but they may move toward a person if that person is between them and where they want to go. And snakes will defend themselves if threatened, cornered or surprised.
Snakes enjoy the warmth of the sun, the snake in the below photo was spotted by The Skunk Whisperer® taking a moment to sunbathe a bit.
A snake’s teeth are not used for chewing, but rather for grabbing or hooking their prey, where it is then swallowed whole. A snake’s jaws are not rigidly connected at the back which allows them to expand and swallow prey larger than their own head. All Oklahoma snakes have teeth but only venomous ones have fangs. The fangs are connected to sacks of poison that it releases into the prey when the victim is bitten.
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