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  • Macomb County Educational Article of the Month - What is a snake's natural diet and how does it get its food?

What is a snake's natural diet and how does it get its food?

What is a snake's natural diet and how does it get its food?

Snake's are carnivores
Snakes are, if you don't know already, carnivorous. This means they will eat meat.
Their diet will then consist of:
• Small mammals
• Amphibians
• Birds
• Fish
• And even other snakes

There is only one kind of Macomb County snake that does not have these as its main diet and that is the Egg-eating Michigan snake which as the name implies eats eggs. All snakes have the uncanny ability to unhinge their jaws in order that they can swallow their prey whole. Snakes do have teeth but these are not necessary for chewing their food.

Depending on the habitat
Most snake diets are dictated by where the snake lives or its environment. For instance:
• Sea snakes will most likely eat fish because it is found in the ocean.
• Tree pythons will most likely eat birds because it dwells up in the trees.
• Blind snakes will small insects such as termites and ants as they live close to such areas.
• King cobras - powerful snakes - are able to subdue and prey on other snakes which are easy to find.

Their senses
Snakes have evolved into efficient predators and have developed certain senses in order to aid in their hunting of prey. Though depending again on the Macomb County habitat they are in, most snakes all have these senses.

Snakes are unable to hear sounds like we humans do but are able to catch vibrations and interpret these vibrations in order to help them "hear" and identify the location of their prey.

Snakes especially pit vipers have a thermal-seeking sense that is highly sensitive to the heat signatures of animals. They don't need their eyes to see in the dark - they can just use this in order to track their prey.

Chemical detection
Snakes do not use their nostrils in order to smell. They use their tongues to detect a potential prey's scent. Their tongues are highly sensitive to the smell of their prey and their brains are able to interpret these in order to locate them. Chemical detection is one of the primary steps in order for Macomb County snakes to locate their prey.

Movement detection
Most snakes don't need to see like we do as they are naturally Michigan ground-dwellers where there is little to no light available. Despite their lack of field vision, snakes do have a highly tuned motion detection sense that helps them when trying to find their prey. This sense is so incredibly that they really don't need eyesight.

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