Do snakes jump?

Snakes can't really jump, but they can raise a large portion of their bodies off the ground, and certain fast movements, such as striking or swinging their bodies may cause parts of the snake to leave the ground. But they can't go fully airborne unless they swing off a high perch such as a tree branch.



Snakes don't jump in the real sense of this word, but they can perform striking moves when attacking or defending themselves. They don't jump or leap but will a strike pose with the front part of their body upwards, and from this position will strike forward toward the object of their attack. Snakes can strike forward often for as much as their entire body length, or even a significant distance, which is the reason why so many victims of snake bites are usually bitten on the knee or on the ankles. We have all seen cobra snakes "standing" on the back part of their body and swaying left and right while a yogi plays to them. This is the starting position from which a snake will strike forward. Larger snakes will often raise their head and strike forward and to the side when excited. However, the fact that a snake is excited will usually cause it to be less precise and less effective in its attack and strike forward. It has often been seen that an excited snake will miss the object of their attack, simply for the fact that it wasn't calm and wanted primarily to defend itself.

It is a known fact that some snake species tend to chase after people. Such aggressive snake species will not rely just on defending themselves by holding their ground and striking toward humans – they will also go after them even when they start moving away. Such dangerous, aggressive snakes live in Central America in Panama and tourists are actually warned of them when they go on field trips.

Another interesting myth (that is partially true) is that snakes can fly. Snakes don't fly as birds or flying squirrels do, but they do have the capability to hang from the tree branches and swing through the air and "fly" toward the ground or another tree for over 100 yards across. When they start swinging left and right through the air, they will flatten their ribcage and gain speed so their movement through the air will certainly look like a real flight. There are several different snake species (about five of them) in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka that are capable of such flying through the air – and all of these species are venomous, so it is very good to be careful when you choose to go on rainforest visits there.

However, there are no snake species that can fly off the ground into the air. For more information about whether snakes jump, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page. Read more facts about snakes:
Do snakes climb trees?
How big do snakes get
How do snakes sleep?