World Snake Day – 5 Facts About Snakes

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July 16 is World Snake Day, a day created to raise awareness about these reptiles. Whether you think snakes are exotic or terrifying, they play an important role in maintaining the Earth’s biodiversity.  Join digJamaica in celebrating World Snake Day with these five facts.

  1. Jamaica has seven species of indigenous snakes. Six of these seven are found only in Jamaica. Luckily, no snakes found in Jamaica are venomous and generally do not pose any risk to human life. Growing up to 2 meters long, the Jamaican Boa or Yellow Snake, is the largest of the group.  It is an endangered species and is protected under the Wild Life Protection Act of 1945. In case of an encounter with a Jamaican Boa, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) urges individuals to contact their Ecosystems Branch.
  2. They’re everywhere. Snakes exist on every continent, except Antarctica. There are about 3000 species of snakes in the world, and only 375 of that number are poisonous.
  3. They can “fly”. In parts of South/Southeast Asia, there are “flying” snakes. According to National Geographic, these snakes glide through the air rather than fly. Nevertheless, such snakes can reach up to 330 feet in the air!
  4. They come in various sizes. The Reticulated Python is the world’s longest snake, measuring up to 30 feet long. On the other end of the spectrum, the Barbados Threadsnake is only 4 inches long.
  5. Some are deadly. Though no fatalities from its bite are recorded, the Inland Taipan possesses the deadliest snake venom in the world. One bite can contain enough venom to kill 100 humans! However, take solace in the fact that the majority of snakes are non-venomous and that most that are venomous will not attack unprovoked.

Check out more on Jamaican snakes and other wildlife here.