Snakes have attracted our imagination and fear since the world is world. They are part of our founding myths. Although less than 1/3 of all species are poisonous (unless you live in Australia, where that figure rises to 65%!), it's good to be careful. The bite of non-poisonous snakes is little, like a sting. Even so, be careful!
Method 1 of 4: Getting to Know North American Snakes
Step 1. Get to know snakes
There are four different types of venomous snakes in North America: the cottonmouth, the rattlesnake, the copperhead and the coral snake.
Cotton mouth. Cotton mouths have elliptical pupils that range from black to green. They have a white stripe on the side of their head. We can usually find them in or near water, but they have also learned to live on dry land. Young snakes have a striking yellow tail. Usually they walk alone, so if you see a lot of snakes coexisting peacefully, none of them are likely to be a cotton mouth.
Rattlesnakes. Look for the rattle on the tail. Some harmless snakes mimic the rattle by running their tails through the leaves, but only rattlesnakes have a rattle at the end of the tail. If you can't see the tail, their heads are heavy and triangular, and their eyes are elliptical like a cat's.
Copper Head. These beauties have a body similar to cotton mouths, but are much lighter in color, ranging from copper-brown to light orange, light pink or peach. The younger ones also have a yellow tail.
Coral snakes. Another beautiful but deadly snake is the coral. So beautiful that other non-venomous snakes look a lot like her. They do, however, have a distinct coloration, with black, yellow and red rings, a yellow head, and a black ring above the nostril. However, most of the time, a coral snake will not attack. They are very shy. There are no known deaths from coral in Arizona, and only a few from coral in the east.
Step 2. Look at the color patterns
Poisonous snakes in the US tend to be of varying colors. Most single color is completely harmless. However, some cotton mouths are also poisonous. This is not a completely safe way to identify them.
Step 3. Look at the shape of the head
Non-venomous snakes have a rounded spoon-like head, while venomous snakes have a more triangular head. This is due to the venom gland (this is harder to notice in coral snakes).
Step 4. See if she has a rattle
If the snake has a rattle in its tail, it is a rattlesnake and therefore poisonous. However, some non-poisonous snakes mimic the rattle by vibrating their tails, but they don't have the same noise that reminds someone shaking a salt shaker.
Step 5. See if the snake has a heat sensor
Some venomous snakes in the US have a small depression between the eye and nostril. This organ is commonly called a "cova" (hence the popular name "snake"), and is used by the snake to feel the heat of its prey. Coral snakes do not have this organ.
Step 6. Pay attention to imitators
Some non-venomous snakes mimic the patterns and behaviors of poisonous snakes. Milk snake snakes can look like a copper head; rat snakes can look like rattlesnakes; and king snake snakes can look like coral snakes.
Always treat any snake as venomous if you do not know whether or not it is venomous. But even though you should be careful, don't kill any snakes - this may be illegal, and killing non-poisonous snakes allows populations of insects and poisonous snakes to grow
Step 7. See how the snake swims
To know the difference between a cotton-mouthed snake and an ordinary snake: make sure it's swimming with its head just out of the water or whether its body is floating too. If only the head is out, it's probably a harmless snake, but if the body also floats, it could be a cottontail (almost all poisonous snakes swim with their lungs full, leaving most of their bodies afloat). A cotton mouth has elliptical pupils, and a harmless water snake has round pupils. Either way, leave her alone so she can leave the place.
Method 2 of 4: Getting to Know UK Snakes
Step 1. Watch out for vipers
The European viper, vipera berus, has a V or X mark on its head. She also has pupils that close vertically, dark zigzag stripes on the back, and dark ovals on the sides. Black spots range from gray, blue and black (most common). The back color is usually a pale gray, sometimes brown or red.
- The viper is common throughout the UK, particularly in the south. Even though it hurts a lot and requires immediate medical attention, viper stings are generally not fatal.
- Vipers are not aggressive unless threatened. Having a choice, they prefer to walk away.
Method 3 of 4: Getting to Know India's Snakes
Step 1. Watch out for the big quartet
India has many snakes, many of them venomous. However, the great quartet can be found all over the country and is extremely poisonous.
The Cobra. The cobra is a species always associated with snake charmers and their baskets.
- They measure from 1m to 3m and have a very wide head. They can stretch their necks like a hood, which creates their famous and rather frightening appearance.
- Cobra body color varies according to location. Generally, cobras in southern India are yellow to brown in color. Northern cobras are usually dark brown or black.
- Cobras are shy. They will threaten when provoked, but prefer to back down. When they attack, they are quick and do it over and over again. Larger cobras can wrap around the victim and sink their fangs, releasing all their venom!
- In case of cobra sting, seek medical attention immediately. The common cobra is responsible for many human deaths in India.
Common Krait. The krait measures between 1, 5 m and 3 m. Its head is flat, a little wider than the neck and the front of the head is rounded. His eyes are small and completely black.
- The krait's body is black, with white rings that can appear in pairs. Its scales are hexagonal, with the exception of the subtails (below the tail), which are not split.
- Krait is nocturnal and, during the day, it can be found in dark and dry places. They are sweet and shy during the day, but at night they attack when provoked.
Russell's Viper. This viper is a stout, brown snake mixed with red and yellow spots. The body has three longitudinal rows of eye-shaped spots, dark brown or black, starting from the head and extending to the tail. The spots on both sides are smaller and rounder than the ones on top.
- The head is triangular, pointed at the front, and much wider at the neck, with two triangle-shaped spots. The eyes have vertical pupils, and their tongue is dark purple.
- Russell's viper is poisonous enough for you to seek treatment right away. If you provoke her (and not just accidentally step on her), she'll warn you with a high-pitched whistle, like a pressure cooker.
Echis carinatus. Echis carinatus is the second most common snake in India, just behind the Russell viper. It measures between 40 cm and 80 cm. Your body can be dark brown, red, gray or a mixture of these colors. It also has patches of light yellow or light brown, with dark lines above.
- 'Echis carinatus' is very aggressive when provoked and makes a saw noise rubbing its dorsal scales. Don't hang around if you hear this sound. 'Echis carinatus' is one of the most agile species in the world!
- If bitten, seek treatment. Sometimes this snake doesn't inoculate venom, but only a doctor can be sure.
Method 4 of 4: Getting to Know the World's Deadliest Snakes in Australia
Step 1. Beware of Inland Taipan
This snake is reputed to be the deadliest on the planet. Its venom is more potent than any other's, and even so, there is no recorded occurrence of human fatality caused by it.
- It can be up to 2 m, and varies between dark brown and straw yellow. It gets darker in winter and lighter in summer. His head is almost completely black.
- She lives on the dark soil plains where the borders of Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory meet.
Step 2. Avoid the western brown snake
Unlike the most venomous snake, Inland Taipan, the western brown snake, is responsible for most of the bite deaths in Australia. Like all snakes, it would rather flee than attack; however, if they are threatened, grabbed or stepped on, they immediately go on the offensive.
- They can measure more than 2 m and are very fast, especially on hot days. They are slender, with color ranging from bronze, gray and dark brown. Its belly is lighter and has dark orange spots.
- They inhabit eastern Australia, stretching from the desert to the coast, and prefer fields, grassland and woodland.
- Needless to say, if you get bitten by one of these snakes, get help immediately!
- When you're in a place where there are lots of snakes, remember to look at the ground every now and then.
- Research the snakes that live in the region where you live. It's good to know which snakes live around. If you live in an area where there are a lot of snakes, call a guide when you go to see them to better identify them.
- Don't put your hands or feet where you can't see; this is the number one cause of bites in climbers.
- When you're in a place with real and fake coral snakes, remember this: if the red ring touches a yellow ring, it's poisonous. Of course, remember this only works in North America!
- Never catch a snake if you don't know if it's poisonous. Never have a poisonous snake as a pet.
- Due to fear, most snakes inject a lot of venom. However, larger and more mature snakes know the limit of venom to use. But the danger is still the same!
- When going into a snake-infested area, wear sturdy boots or shoes, as well as thick socks and pants.
- Never go near a snake unless you are familiar with it.
- Never tease a snake or get too close to try to identify it, unless you're already sure it's not poisonous. Most snakes will prefer to avoid you.
- Many venomous snakes are threatened with extinction in the United States. It is against federal law to kill or interfere with the life of any endangered species, and that includes protected venomous snakes. Furthermore, in many states, it is illegal to kill, capture, tease or possess wild snakes of any kind, poisonous or non-poisonous.
- Looking only into a snake's eyes is not the right way to tell if it is venomous. Cobra, black mamba and other types of very venomous snakes have round pupils, while pythons, parrot snakes and arboreal green pythons have elliptical eyes. Don't go near an unknown snake just because it has round pupils: that doesn't mean it isn't venomous.
- Some snakes that look poisonous may not be, and vice versa. Always try to know the types of snakes in your area.