Snakes are cold-blooded animals found on all continents except Antarctica. In total, there are more than 3,000 species of them on Earth. These reptiles are harmless and very poisonous, small (only a few centimeters long) and giant (more than 10 meters). Their habitat is also very diverse. They live in s alt or fresh water, swamps and forests, steppes and deserts. And sometimes they are found in home terrariums. Reproduction of snakes largely depends on what species they belong to and on the habitat. Most reptiles are oviparous, but there are also viviparous specimens among them.
About the mating season
Although there are hermaphrodites among snakes, in most cases they are still of different sexes. Therefore, 2 individuals participate in the process of reproduction: a male and a female. Often, outwardly, they do not differ much, except perhaps in size, less often in color. Sometimes males have a flatter tail shape.
The mating season for snakes usually occurs after hibernation, when the air temperature becomes comfortable enough for growingoffspring. Reptiles inhabiting desert and semi-desert areas breed with the onset of a favorable period, which does not always depend on the season.
The male does not take care of the chosen one very actively. Having found her by smell, he begins the pursuit, and when they meet, he expresses his intentions by stroking or shaking his head. During this period, animals show particular aggression. Therefore, you should not try to see how snakes breed in natural conditions, especially if we are talking about poisonous representatives of scaly reptiles.
There are species that mate in large groups, curling into a huge ball. The process may take several days. It is also surprising that a fertilized female is able to carry sperm in herself for a long time, while maintaining her ability to fertilize. Conception itself occurs when the environment becomes as favorable as possible for this.
Among snakes, they are rare, but still such cases do occur. As a rule, we are talking about the island botrops, which inhabits mainly South America. Surprising is the fact that among individuals of the same species, both heterosexual and hermaphrodite can come across. The latter have sexual characteristics of both male and female. Therefore, one snake is enough for breeding.
But this is not the only interesting fact from the life of reptiles. Some females manage to lay unfertilized eggs, from which offspring successfully hatch. This method of reproductionis quite rare and is called "parthenogenesis".
For any female, eggs are the most valuable thing she has. And snakes are no exception. Therefore, a place for masonry is chosen quiet, safe and as comfortable as possible. Steppe snakes often live in burrows and hide their clutches there. Forest ones do it under snags, and desert ones often bury them in the sand. It all depends on the environment and living conditions.
Females usually guard their offspring by keeping them warm by actively contracting their body muscles until they are born. It is difficult to call caring parents of snakes, cubs show independence literally from the first minutes of life, earning their own food and not counting on adults. In some species, the male is responsible for the safety of the nest, and sometimes the parents guard it in turn.
Regardless of how snakes reproduce, their embryos almost always develop inside the egg, feeding on its environment. In most cases, this happens in a nest or other hiding place. But sometimes the young develop directly inside the female and are born while hatching from the eggs. At the same time, they are completely independent from the first days of life.
Viviparous snakes in the classical sense are also found in nature. These mainly include inhabitants of reservoirs, as well as some boas and vipers. In this case, the embryo breathes and feeds through a single circulatory system with the mother.
Captive breeding of snakes
Reptiles are increasingly common as pets. This is mainly due to ease of care. You do not need to walk with the snake, they rarely eat, they behave mainly passively. The main thing is to choose the right terrarium and follow the recommendations of a climate specialist.
Watching snakes breed in captivity is rare, because it happens only under a favorable combination of several circumstances. Firstly, there should be 2 of them, and of different sexes. Species related to hermaphrodites do not contain houses. People mainly acquire boas or snakes. Some of them live in trees in the wild. Therefore, for a comfortable stay in captivity, in addition to a suitable temperature and humidity, it is necessary to create an imitation of the trunk, roots, spread pieces of bark. You can see how snakes breed in a terrarium only if they are absolutely comfortable. Before the planned mating season, it is better to resettle the couple and hold them separately for several days, slightly lowering the temperature. Thus, there is an imitation of hibernation in natural conditions. Then they are placed in a common terrarium, increase the temperature and wait for the result.
Snakes are amazing and mysterious creatures that inhabit our planet. Many myths and legends are associated with these animals. Many are afraid of them, and some have them in their apartment as pets. Sometimes in terrariums it is even possible to get offspring. But for snakes to breed in captivity, they need to be really comfortable.