What Are the Stages of a Snake's Evolution?
- Although some snakes give birth to live babies, most snakes are hatched from an egg. Baby snakes develop inside of the egg, where they spend several weeks. When the snake becomes too large for the egg, it breaks through the shell and hatches. As soon as it hatches, the baby snake slithers away as fast as it can to avoid being eaten by other newborn snakes. It will hunt for food as it gradually begins to grow into an adult. Some snakes give birth to live babies, instead of laying eggs. These snakes are viviparous, which is the term used to describe an animal that gives birth to live babies. Viviparous snakes include boas, rattlesnakes and adders.
- Most snakes become full-grown adults within three to five years after being hatched. As a snake grows, it starts to shed its skin, which is known as molting. As babies, snakes eat small things like insects, but as they become adults, they begin to eat larger food like rodents.
- Snakes mate once they become mature adults. The mating season for all snakes is the spring. Once a female is impregnated, it can carry up to 50 eggs at one time. Depending on the species of snake, the female will either lay the eggs in a dirt hole or give live birth to babies in water. Snakes do not mate with the same partner throughout their lifetime; they mate with many partners.
- According to "The Life Cycle of a Snake," written by John Crossingham and Bobbie Kalman, the average snake lives between 10 and 13 years. Large snakes tend to live longer than small snakes, but nobody is exactly sure why. The Tiger Snakes website says snakes normally die of old age or because they have been eaten by a predator.