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FAQ: General Snake Questions
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) >General Snake Questions
A snake with a fat head is venomous, right?Are baby snakes more venomous than adults?Are snakes slimy?Can a dead snake bite me?
Can coral snakes only bite me between fingers and toes?Can Cottonmouths bite under water?Do rattlesnakes rattle before they strike?How can I keep venomous snakes out of my yard?
I saw a snake, what should I do?What is a good venomous snake to keep as a pet?What kind of snake is...
A snake with a fat head is venomous, right?
No, not necessarily. Adult male brown water snakes have fat heads and they are non-venomous. Many non-venomous snakes flatten their heads when stressed and appear to have viperlike heads. Coral snakes are highly venomous and have skinny heads.
Are baby snakes more venomous than adults?
Bites from baby snakes are generally less destructive than bites from adults due to the smaller quantity of venom - however - a bite from any venomous snake is a serious medical emergency and you should get medical treatment from a qualified and experienced physician. Baby venomous snakes can be quite capable of killing you.
Are snakes slimy?
No, they feel like a banana.
Can a dead snake bite me?
YES!!! In one study 3% of the snakebites studied were from decapitated snakes. My only envenomation was from a dead canebrake rattlesnake.
Can coral snakes only bite me between fingers and toes?
NO! Coral snakes can produce a deadly bite anywhere on your body. Their fangs are relatively small, but they are quite capable of killing you.
Can Cottonmouths bite under water?
Yes. They feed mainly on fish and frogs. They wouldn't be very good hunters if they couldn't bite under water.
Do rattlesnakes rattle before they strike?
Sometimes! -- but don't count on it. A snake's best defense in the wild is its camouflage. A snake's first reaction is usually to lie perfectly still and hope that it goes unnoticed.
How can I keep venomous snakes out of my yard?
You can reduce the appeal of your yard to snakes by 1. cutting the grass, 2. controlling rodents, and 3. picking up debris. Birdfeeders are notorious for attracting snakes. Also do NOT kill nonvenomous snakes. Each acre of land can only support a fixed number of snakes. For each non-venomous snake you have, that is one venomous snake that you do not have.
I saw a snake, what should I do?
Leave it alone! Most bites occur when someone tries to capture or kill a snake. It's probably protected by law anyway, so the best reaction is to just leave it alone.
What is a good venomous snake to keep as a pet?
NONE! - Venomous snakes are dangerous and deadly animals. Only people professionally trained in handling them should even think about attempting it.
What kind of snake is...
Email me a good picture of the snake (remember to stay at a safe distance and use a zoom lens) and include as much information as you can. I have only had one so far that I couldn't identify, and that was because the picture was extremely out of focus. The email address is


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