Thursday, May 10, 2012

Animal Tips for Writers: Hog-Nosed Snakes


The hog-nosed snake is sometimes erroneously called a puff adder, but it is not venomous, so your hero has nothing to fear from it no matter what some people may claim. Hog-nosed snakes get their name from their upturned snout, which they use to help with digging. They are often brown with darker and lighter brown markings, but can also be a variety of other colors.


Some hog-nosed snakes eat only toads, while others eat rodents and lizards. Despite being pretty much harmless, they are sometimes mistaken for copperheads and killed. While the hog-nosed snake is unlikely to bite, when it is threatened it will sometimes raise its head off the ground and spread its neck out like a cobra, while hissing loudly.


If this does not scare a threat away, or if the snake is too scared to make such a display, it will roll onto its back and play dead with its mouth open and its tongue hanging out. On the rare occasions they do bite, their saliva contains a weak toxin that causes relatively mild localized symptoms.

Have you ever encountered a hog-nosed snake?


(c) 2012 Jonathan Garner

6 comments:

  1. What an interesting looking nose! Sounds like a nice, fun harmless snake to have around. :) I've never seen one, to my knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aubrey!

      Yes, they're a fun snake to have around. :)

      Delete
  2. Is that the snake that rolls onto its back again if you flip it over when it is playing dead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Patrick!

      Yes, it is. :)

      Delete
  3. *grins* Funny snake. :D I wish we had some of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, BushMaid! Everywhere should have such harmless, interesting snakes. :)

      Delete