Do Snakes Climb Trees?

An idea that has been floating around amongst hunters and Biologists alike, the thought that snakes can climb a tree may seem odd to most, but it is true. Generally, herpetologists- those that study snakes- know that snakes climb trees, but have never understood completely how they do it. however, with new studies on the horizon, there are more developments on how a snake climbs trees.

Vertical climbing is not easy: most of us humans can attest to that, as it uses groups of muscles as well as lots of energy. However, there are many species in the animal kingdom that not only know how to climb trees, but can often do it quickly, as well as for a much higher reward than we would think. Snakes are an arboreal species that spend most of their times in the trees. They do this for a variety of reasons, including escaping predators, as well as catching their prey more easily.

The way that snakes climb trees, as well, is much different from how other animals do so. Cats, for example, can grasp the bark with their claws, which means that they can easily scurry up and down trees to catch whatever prey they would like, often more quickly than the prey can get away. However, snakes tend to take a more ‘safety-centric’ option to this approach, often gripping the tree trunk much tighter than they would need to move up or down. The snake’s body, as well, allows them much more freedom to move around the tree, as they can wrap themselves around the trunk in different ways. Some snakes prefer to wrap evenly around the trunk, distributing their weight around it and using that leverage to make their way up; other, though, will bunch most of their bodies at one height, using that their advantage to move. However, no matter how the snakes made their way up the tree, they used excessive force against the trunk to keep their bodies from sliding back down- up to even three times the force that was needed.

This extra-strong grip, while it is partially about the snake avoiding excessive physical harm, is more centered around the snake remaining away from predators. A fall from the height of a tree will often not actually hurt the snake, but can cause it to be more exposed to predators, as well as expending its energy, so it may be harder to get away from said predators as quickly as they should. This is often why many young snakes live their adolescent lives in trees, as well, as this is more effective in keeping them away from predators that wish to harm them.

Read the How to get rid of snakes page for helpful information and to learn more about Do Snakes Climb Trees?

Do Snakes Climb Trees?

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