Grass snake Facts

Grass snake Facts
Grass snake is a type of non-venomous snake. There are nine subspecies of grass snake that can be found in Europe, Middle East and northwestern parts of Africa. They are especially abundant in south and south-eastern parts of the England. Grass snake lives in woodlands, grasslands, marshes, near the ponds and streams. It can survive in different climates and on different altitudes. Population of most subspecies is large and stable in the wild. Two subspecies are listed as critically endangered due to habitat loss.
Interesting Grass snake Facts:
Grass snake can reach 2 to 3.7 inches in length and 8 ounces of weight. Females are usually 20 inches longer than males.
Males and females can be distinguished by couple of morphological features. Even though female has longer body, male has longer tail with swelling at the base of a tail.
Grass snake is usually green or brown in color with dark stripes on the lateral side of the body. Bottom side of the body is usually pale and covered with triangular marks. Grass snakes are also known as "ring snakes" because they have black and yellow rings behind the head. Completely black and white snakes are rarely seen.
Grass snakes are active during the day (diurnal animals).
Grass snakes are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat different kind of amphibians (frogs, toads, newts…), small mammals and birds. Grass snakes are active predators that swallow the prey in one piece while it is still alive.
Grass snake relies on the eyesight and excellent sense of hearing when it searches food.
Grass snake basks in the sun to increase body temperature and to ensure proper digestion after the meal.
Main predators of grass snake are birds of prey, cats, foxes and badgers.
Grass snakes apply several defensive strategies when they are threatened. They can lay motionless and pretend to be dead. They can release foul smelling substance from the anal gland to repel the predator. When they are cornered, grass snakes can hiss and strike opponent with their heads.
Grass snakes are excellent swimmer and fast moving animals.
Grass snake molts at least once per year. Old skin will be removed in one piece. Snake is fragile and very aggressive during this period.
Grass snake hibernates during cold winter months (from October to March-April). It hides under the piles of rock or leaves, where it can survive without freezing.
Mating season of grass snake takes place from March to June.
Female lays up to 40 leathery eggs, usually in the compost, manure or rotting vegetation, because eggs require heat during the incubation. Young snakes hatch after 6 to 8 weeks. They break the shell using the egg tooth. Newly born snakes are ready for independent life from the moment of birth.
Grass snake can survive up to 15 years in the wild.

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