Coral snake Facts

Coral snake Facts
Coral snake is a close relative of cobras, mambas and sea snakes. There are 65 species of coral snakes that can be found through the whole world. Some of them live in the water, but most of them are terrestrial (living on the land), preferring the habitats such as marshes, swamps, scrub areas and forests. Eastern and Western coral snakes, which inhabit North America, are the most well known. Eastern coral snakes of the North Carolina are endangered.
Interesting Coral snake Facts:
Coral snakes are not very large. Rare specimens may reach 3 feet in length, but most of them are 18 to 20 inches long.
Coral snakes are characterized by specific body coloration which consists of black, red and yellow bands. Some species may have pink or blue bands, while some others lack the bands completely. Head of the coral snake is black and it is hardly distinguished from the tail.
Due to similarity between head and tail, snake curls when threatened and exposes its tail to confuse the predator.
Venom produced by the coral snake is the second strongest of all snake venoms. Luckily, back in 1967 anti-venom was produced. Death after the coral snake bite has not been recorded ever since.
Coral snake produces neurotoxic venom which targets brain and nervous system. Sometimes effects of venom can become visible after 12 hours. If not treated with anti-venom, person will experience difficulties with movement and speech, and eventually die as a result of cardiac arrest due to inability to breath.
Unlike other venomous snakes, coral snake cannot retract its venomous fangs into the mouth; instead, they are constantly erect.
Coral snake does not have strong or large fangs, so it needs to chew its prey in order to deliver toxin. Leather boots, for example, cannot be penetrated with coral snake's fangs.
Since there are few non-venomous species of snakes that look like coral snake (because of their bands and colors), there are few rhyme which help people to distinguish venomous from non-venomous snakes. The most famous one is: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow" and " red on black, friend of Jack".
People rarely come in contact with coral snakes because they are active mostly during the night or early in the morning hours. Besides, coral snakes are not aggressive and they will rather hide than confront with the predator.
Coral snakes spend most time during the day in the underground holes and tunnels which are dug by other animals. They can be also found under the rotten leaves or in the tree stumps.
Coral snakes are carnivores (meat eaters). They prefer frogs, mice, insects, lizards and small birds. They will also eat other snakes, including coral snakes. That is why they are called "ophiophagous", which means "snake eaters".
Coral snake is the only venomous snake in the North America which lays eggs (other species give birth to live snakes).
Female lays 3 to 5 eggs in the summer. It takes couple of months (2 to 3) for eggs to hatch.
Babies have the same coloration as their parents and they are fully venomous from the first day of their life.
Lifespan of the coral snake in the wild is unknown. They can live up to 7 years in captivity.

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