Wild Fact #525 – How to Hide the Bulge – Wart Snake

Photo from Wikimedia

I hope all of you enjoyed your long weekend  (or are still enjoying it since I believe my American friends have today off) and managed to properly celebrate Canada Day or Independence Day.  Speaking of that, Happy Independence Day to all of my wonderful American readers. I hope you are all enjoying your day filled with BBQs and fireworks. Okay, let’s move onto our fun animal fact. Today’s fact was inspired by my 2 year old niece even though she doesn’t know it yet.  You see she was at the zoo the other day and manage to pull a huge piece of snake skin (don’t worry, it wasn’t attached to the snake) out of the cage and wanted to bring it with her for the rest of the day. Now I believed they returned the shedded skin back to the proper place but it got me thinking about snakes, so today’s Wild Fact is on the Wart Snake.

The Wart Snake is group of a primitive water snakes comprised of 3 different species which are found in Australia and Indonesia. I thought this would be the perfect snake to talk about since their most prominent feature is their incredibly loose and baggy skin. It actually looks like their skin is a few sizes too big for them.  Perhaps they have all lost a lot of weight recently.  Their scales are also pretty neat since they don’t overlap like most snakes.  Nope, they actually project out from the body and consequently look like little warts.  I wonder how they came up with the common name for this snake?

Photo from Wikimedia

These snakes are entirely aquatic and will spend most of their time at the bottom of a river or a stream just waiting to ambush the poor unsuspecting prey swimming by.  So what do they eat? Naturally, they like to feast on great tasting fish, which they capture by coiling around them.  Besides being responsible for their name the wart-like scales also help the Wart Snake catch their food since these raised scales will hold the squirmy fish in place.  How about that, the scales are trendy and practical.  Unlike typical snakes, the Wart Snake will not bulge after eating a hearty meal.  Their skin is so loose and baggy that their body remains slack and normal at all times.  Even snakes know that you can hide a chubby stomach by wearing loose fitting clothing – intelligent little critters.

Okay, so that does it for the first Wild Fact of the week.  Now let’s get back to celebrating Independence Day by BBQing up some tasty burgers.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

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