The Senses of Snakes
The senses of snakes are very valuable to them. Most species don’t see well and they don’t have limbs. They use their long tongue that allows them to pick up on various smells. They shoot that in and out and they move it up and down too. This allows them to pick up various smells from all around them.
They also take those smells back into the mouth and into the Jacobson’s Organ in the mouth. The scents will rub off there and they can be tasted. That is what sends a message to the brain. It is trying to categorize it as a meal, danger, or a possible mate. The fork in the tongue allows for more scents to be picked up than if it was just one piece.
Snakes can also tell which direction scents that they pick up are coming from. This can help them to go after prey or to wait for it. They may decide they need to retreat or that they need to be ready to be defensive should that movement continue into their direction.
While snakes don’t have external ears they are still able to hear. They rely heavily upon various types of vibrations that come all around them. They hear that movement and they are able to decide if they will get to eat or if they should retreat at that point in time.
Some species of snakes have very good vision but it is a common myth that none of them see well. Those that aren’t able to see rely heavily on other forms of senses to help them survive. There are species of snakes that have infrared vision too. This allows them to see the body heat of things around them. They can detect the location and the size.
They use their senses to help them determine when the temperatures are changing enough that they need to find a place for hibernating. They won’t do that the first chilly day that comes along. Instead, they will instinctively known by their senses when they need to slow down their metabolism for them to be able to survive until the warmer weather comes along again.
Digestion can take a very long time for any snake, especially when they consume large meals. They use their senses to determine danger around them. If they have a fear they will cause their bodies to expel the food. Then they can move again and get out of the way. This is a type of sense that prevents them from being unable to move as some form of predator or threat comes closer.
The compilation of senses allow the snake to be a very creative an intelligent living creature. They are able to stay out of the way of harm most of the time. They are also able to find food sources even when it is hard for them to visually see what is around them.
There has been a great deal of studies conducted to learn more about the various senses of the snake. What has been determined is that they are able to get around with ease and to know what their environment looks like.
This is just one more way that nature has given the snake a way to defense itself. There are many living things in the wild that also retreat when they hear that rattle as it isn’t only humans that way to stay away from snakes.