Do snakes climb trees?

Several species of snakes are capable of climbing trees just like many other animals, and the fact that they don't have limbs to use to climb up doesn't mean that they are incapable of climbing. Some species of snakes are arboreal - they prefer to live in trees, and they hunt in trees as well.

Snakes climb up trees using muscles evenly distributed throughout their body. They wrap around a tree trunk and climb up. The force they use to climb up can be as much as 3 times higher than the force that is actually necessary to climb up, but they are using such force just to be sure that they will get up the tree and stay up there. Why is that so? The reason is most likely very simple: they want to make sure that they will stay out of reach of their natural predators and that they will manage to find and catch prey that for lots of snake species is often found up there among tree branches. Snakes probably wouldn’t be harmed at all in a case when they would fall off of a tree, but they still want to make sure that this will not happen – just to be safe from the predators that might be down there.

It is not easy to climb up – you might know this from trying to climb up the rope during gym in high school. However, when it comes to snakes, this effort is well worth it. As we have already determined, some animals use their claws (cats), while other use their limbs (monkeys). A snake can strongly wrap their entire body around the tree and climb up. Some snake species spend their entire life up in a tree, while others spend time in trees while they are young to stay away from predators but will spend the majority of their adult time down on the ground. Styles of climbing vary from one species to another, but as has already been mentioned, they use lots of their muscular force to climb up – far more than would actually be necessary. Scientists who have investigated how snakes climb up trees and how much force they put into it have determined that they use this much energy in climbing primarily to be sure that they will not fall off. They consider this to be a more rational approach – because in case of a fall, they would have to climb again from the zero point. It is better to be safe than sorry, right?

Some snakes that live in trees can glide out of the trees, leading people to ask, do snakes jump?. For more information about Do snakes climb trees, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.

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