Zoology & Botany

snake

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy snake in advance, as well as a sample of scales

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a snake.) This is a reptile.

Remember, to be classified as a reptile, an animal should have a backbone (It is a vertebrate) lungs and need air to breathe. (Hold the sample of scales; Show it to the baby) say: Its body is covered in scales. Almost all reptiles are cold-blooded and most of them lay eggs.

(Point to the snake) Say: Snakes are elongated, limbless, flexible reptiles.(Put your hands together and slither like a snake. Say: come on, baby. Let´s slither like a snake) Their body shape depends on the habitat in which they live. Aquatic snakes usually have a flattened body; those living in trees are long and slender with a prehensile tail while burrowing snakes tend to be compact. Snakes aren't slimy. ( Let the baby touch the sample of scales) Say: Their scales are smooth and dry. Corn snakes use their scales as climbing equipment. They can angle the scales so that it digs into bark, allowing them to climb trees.

For instance, although their sight is not too sharp, snakes can locate their prey through their strong sense of smell. Interestingly, snakes use their forked tongues to smell. Snakes have internal ears but not external ones. They are found in a huge range of colors, from bright to dull. Brightly colored snakes are usually venomous, their coloration serving as a warning to predators, while dull colored snakes use their coloration for camouflage.

Go back to the picture of the snake. Say: let’s find snake’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, tail..Oops! The snake doesn´t have legs!! Snakes shed their entire skin nearly three times a year. This is called molting.

Snakes are living things and need energy to survive. Snakes are carnivorous. This means that they only eat meat. They consume a variety of items including termites, rodents, birds, frogs, small deer and other reptiles. Snakes eat their prey whole and are able to consume prey three times larger than the diameter of their head because their lower jaw can separate from the upper jaw. Not all snakes lay eggs, either. About 70 percent of snakes lay eggs. The breeding season is from March to May. The snakes are oviparous, depositing a clutch of ten to 30 eggs in late May to July. Eggs are laid in rotting stumps, piles of decaying vegetation, or other similar locations where there is sufficient heat and humidity to incubate them. The adult snakes do not care for the eggs. Once laid, the gestation period of the eggs is 60 to 65 days. The eggs hatch sometime in July through September. Hatchlings are (25 to 38 cm) long and mature in 18 to 36 months. Snakes are found throughout the world except Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and New Zealand. Most snakes are found in tropical regions. They are found in forests, deserts, swamps and grasslands. We need to take care of Snakes and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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