There are few things in this world that creep us out more than snakes. Maybe it’s their slithery movements or maybe it’s the fact that we can never be sure when one of these creatures might attack—but whatever the reason, most people would agree that snakes are among the creepiest creatures on earth. That being said, there is still something about these beautiful reptiles that fascinates us. Perhaps it’s because they look so alien and different from other animals or perhaps it’s because even something as slimy and scary as a snake can also be elegant and beautiful at the same time? Regardless of why we find snakes so fascinating, there is one thing about them that has left many of us with an unanswered question: do snakes have blood? If you have ever wondered about this before reading this article, read on to discover everything you need to know about the blood of snakes!
Do Snakes Have Blood?
Snakes do not have blood. They possess a special fluid that performs the same functions as blood in the rest of us: transport nutrients and blood glucose (energy) throughout their body. This fluid is called ‘hemolymph’. The fluid stays in place by being contained in a flattened, swollen internal organ called a ‘haemal sac’.
Why Don’t Some Snakes Have Blood?
1. The Haemal Sac of a Snake is Not Highly Sized
A lot of people are under the impression that snakes have large, balloon-like haemal sacs, but this isn’t true. Most snakes do not have a highly enlarged haemal sac. In fact, most snakes only have a very small amount of this fluid inside their bodies, usually about one tenth the size of their body.
2. The Haemal Sac Is Flattened
All animals that do not possess blood (including snakes) possess an internal organ called an ‘haemosacculum’. This organ is filled with fluid and serves to hold the fluid in place by being flattened against the outside of the body wall.
3. Snakes Don’t Have Hearts
Not only do snakes not have blood, but they also don’t have hearts! Snakes are vertebrates (having backbones), which means they do not possessve blood, but they also don’t have a heart. The heart is the organ responsible for pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body. This means that snakes do not have a pump to move their blood around their bodies as we do.
4. Snakes Don’t Have Circulatory Systems
Snakes have no circulatory system, which means that they cannot receive or store oxygenated blood in any way. Instead, snakes get this oxygenated blood from their food (which is why you shouldn’t try to pet a snake).
5. Snakes Don’t Have Hearts and No Pump Means No Oxygenated Blood
The lack of a heart in snakes also means that they do not have an oxygenated blood supply like we do and are therefore unable to survive without eating every few hours. If you think about it, this makes sense because if you put your finger in your mouth when you are sick, you will know that you really need to eat.
Types Of Snakes That Don’t Have Blood
The Garter Snake
The Garter Snake is a venomous snake that is found in the North America. This snake has no venom sacs and therefore, they do not have any fangs. It is one of the few snakes that can be found in the wild without any fear of being hunted by its prey. The Garter Snake usually grows up to be about 18 inches long and the male usually grows much larger than the female. This snake has a wide range which includes south eastern Canada and northern Mexico but it also has been known to live in parts of Europe.
The Velvet Snake
The Velvet Snake is a venomous snake only found in South America, Brazil, and Paraguay. The Velvet Snake doesn’t have any fangs but it does have strong venom glands which are used to inject its prey with poison when it bites its prey or when it feels threatened by another animal or person. This snake can grow up to be about six feet long but the females are usually much smaller than the males.
The King Cobra
The King Cobra is a venomous snake that can grow up to be about five feet long and it mainly lives in the west, central and southern Africa. The King Cobra’s fangs are located at the end of its upper jaw and they can be used to inject its prey with poison when it bites its prey or when it feels threatened by another animal or person. This snake has been known to kill large animals like monkeys, rodents, antelopes, and elephants by injecting them with poison and then killing them by constriction or decapitation.
The Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus)
The Reticulated Python is a venomous snake that is found in Southeast Asia but can also be found in parts of Africa and Australia as well as New Guinea and South America. This snake has no fangs but it does have strong venom glands which can be used to inject its prey with poison when it bites its prey or when it feels threatened by another animal or person. This snake can grow up to be about 18 feet long but the female is usually much smaller than the male.
The Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
The Green Anaconda is a venomous snake that can grow up to be about twenty-five feet long and it mainly lives in the tropical rainforests of South America. The Green Anaconda’s fangs are located at the end of its upper jaw and they can be used to inject its prey with poison when it bites its prey or when it feels threatened by another animal or person. This snake has been known to kill large animals like monkeys, rodents, antelopes, and elephants by injecting them with poison and then killing them by constriction or decapitation.
How Do Snakes Survive Without Blood?
Snakes Don’t Eat Blood
To put it bluntly, snakes can’t digest blood at all, so it would be very dangerous for them to try. Blood is full of iron, and many species of snake can’t handle this mineral. In fact, snakes take in very little of the blood they consume, and it quickly passes through the body. In addition, the digestive tract of a snake isn’t designed to process proteins and carbohydrates. Blood is a very rich source of protein, which is why it’s so important to the survival of many animals. For example, many insects, birds, and mammals rely on their blood to provide them with the protein they need to grow and stay healthy as they go about their daily lives.
Snakes Get Their Nutrition From Other Sources
Although snakes can’t survive on blood, they do need to eat something. They rely on their prey to provide them with the nutrients they need to live. Prey is a general term that is used to describe the animals that snakes eat. If you watch a snake hunt for its prey, you’ll notice that it uses its tongue to smell and taste the air around it. These senses help the snake to find its prey and then to track it down. Once the snake has captured its prey, it uses a set of teeth called fangs to inject venom into the body of its victim. The venom paralyzes the prey, and the snake then bites it and swallows it whole.
Snakes Are Experts At Staying Well-Fed Without Blood
In order to get the nutrients they need without blood, snakes have evolved to be very effective hunters. They’re very good at catching prey, and once they’ve caught something, they’re very good at storing it so they can make the most of it. Many species of snake will eat once a week or even less often. This is partly because snakes tend to be solitary hunters and partly because it can take a long time for them to digest a meal. When they do eat, they also tend to eat more than other animals. This is because snakes store their food in their stomach. Once it’s there, it takes a long time to break down, so even if it’s been in their stomach for a few weeks, it can still be used as nourishment.
Snakes may not have blood, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have amazing powers of survival! These reptiles have developed an incredibly efficient way of sustaining life, which is truly fascinating! If you’re fascinated by snakes and their unique biology, be sure to keep reading articles like this one.