Do Snakes Drink Water?

There are many common misconceptions about snakes, especially given the fact that they are different given the species and area that they are commonly found. However, there are a few facts which have floated around throughout the years that, while they might seem odd at first, are truthful, entertaining facts about snakes, such as the persistent question of how snakes drink water, or even if they need it in order to live.

The short answer to these questions is ‘yes’: snakes do need water to help with their daily bodily functions; however, while there are a few theories floating around as to how snakes drink, there are no conclusive ones.

Water is one of the most important elements needed for everyone on the planet, from amphibians to humans and apes. Snakes, therefore, are no exception to this rule. In addition to both their cell and organ functions being dependent on a steady water source, it is also incredibly important to external body processes, such as shedding, for them to happen quickly and correctly, as any herpetologist, as well as many snake owners, will be quick to tell you.

Most people, contrary to popular belief, think that snakes get most of the water that they need from the small animals that make up most of their diet- rats, mice, and other animals included. However, the common belief now is that snakes will drink water through the small skin creases in their lower jaw. Many scientists believe that this is the main way that snakes get their water intake, as their tongues are too small to lap up water, and, on top of that, their skins are covered by a protective layer that keeps them from lapping up water, even if their tongues were bigger. In addition to this, unlike humans, snakes are unable to tip their heads back to help the water make its way down their throats- like how humans drink water.

However, one of the most common theories as to how snakes manage to drink water is posited by a biologist in Pennsylvania. He proposed the idea that, while snake’s tongues are far too small to lap up water, they use their skin folds, which are present on their faces, as if they were the tiny tubes in a sponge. This allows the snake to use them to draw water into the snake’s mouth through its capillaries. The muscles that snakes possess in their faces, which help when hunting rodents that are much bigger than them for food, then squeeze the water down into the snakes’ stomach.

However, as with humans, there are differences in snakes, especially given their environment; with snakes from desert areas, water will be less important than to those who make their homes in rainforests and jungles.

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

Do Snakes Drink Water?

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