With approximately 3,700 known snake species across the world, these reptiles occupy various habitats in every temperate region except Antarctica. Of these species, around 600 are venomous, and a fraction—about 200—can be dangerous to humans. Snake species are scientifically classified under the class Reptilia, in the order Squamata, and the suborder Serpentes, derived from the Latin "serpō," which means "to crawl or creep." Snakes are exclusively carnivorous, preying on mammals, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, as well as other reptiles, including snakes. Trivia note: there are no snakes in Greenland, Iceland, Ireland or New Zealand.
The anatomy of a snake is highly adapted for their predatory lifestyle, featuring specializations such as venomous teeth, a flexible skull, infrared-sensing pits to locate warm-blooded prey, and digestive enzymes capable of breaking down bones, feathers, and hair. Snakes lack external ear openings but can sense vibrations through their bodies. Their acute sense of smell is enhanced by the Jacobson's organ, which interprets information from their forked tongue.
From an ecological perspective, snakes are invaluable. They manage rodent populations and are key prey items for numerous species. Venom, while a defense mechanism and a means to immobilize prey, has contributed significantly to medical science. Substances like Captopril®, an ACE inhibitor for heart conditions, and Integrilin®, an anti-clotting agent, are among the medical breakthroughs derived from snake venom, demonstrating its research and therapeutic potential.
Understanding the behaviors and habitats of snakes is crucial for the effective design and implementation of snake fencing solutions. By educating customers on the ecological and medical importance of snakes, we can promote a balanced view that appreciates their role in nature and underscores the benefits of having appropriate fencing to ensure human safety and the conservation of wildlife.