Why do snakes bite?

If you have ever come across a snake before then you are probably quite aware that these can be rather intimidating creatures to say the least. It is not only about their odd shape and slithery way in which they move around; it is also about the size of their jaws, which includes their teeth.



Snakes have jaws that can expand quite extensively and sharp teeth that can really do damage to whatever they bite into. It is traits like these that make them very intimidating for the vast majority of people who come in contact with them.

With sharp teeth like that it is only natural that snakes would be quite hostile and prone to bite. It wouldn’t really make any sense for a reptile like this to have such incredibly sharp teeth if they were never put into use, which is why the snake’s propensity to bite is something that makes perfect sense.

However, you may wonder why it is that a snake bites at all? The answer is quite simple once you think about.

First of all, snakes are carnivores, which means that they eat meat as a main portion of their diet. To obtain that meet snakes must hunt, capture, and be able to kill and tear apart their prey to be able to use it for sustenance. This is where its teeth come in handy.

The jaw of a snake is made to allow it to expand, making it so that it can actually get hold of an animal that is larger than itself. The snake will then sink its teeth into its potential prey and then hold down until it has completely subdued and even killed its potential meal.

For some snakes, once they are able to sink their teeth into the prey, there are special glands in their mouth that secrete of venom into the animal they have captured. This venom affects the prey in one of four ways, either shutting down its heart, paralyzing it, destroying cells, or constricting blood vessels so that blood will not flow. Any one of these toxins secreted into the prey will lead to paralysis and eventually death. This then allows the snake to be able to eat its victim as food.

Even if a snake is unable to secrete venom, the sharp teeth that enable it to down on the victim quite extraordinary. Some snakes have teeth that are nearly an inch in length, allowing them to get quite a substantial grip on whatever animal they are attempting to subdue.

Biting is not only used together food, however. Male snakes will also use their enormous teeth in battle when one male is trying to establish its dominance over other males. The teeth allow it to scare off if not force the other male into submission, and can even be used to kill if necessary.

Because a snake can be quite ruthless, its ability to bite is a key part of why it is such a successful aggressor. Its teeth make it so that it can cause damage to virtually any animal that it bites into, even to human beings.

Of course, the biting of a snake is not only limited to aggressive action. In fact, when a snake is in a courtship period, the biting can be a form of petting used to attract the female, and can even enable the male to maintain its grip over the female while copulation is occurring. By sinking his teeth into the female, the male is able to maintain his grip especially early on during the copulation process. Once he has successfully inseminated the female he simply lets go without causing any damage to the female.

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