Death is inevitable, and all species of mammals or animals that are born will someday die one way or another. Death goes for snakes as well as their normal life cycle. Generally, snakes live long. We will discuss the reason and causes of snake death.
Do Snakes Die Of Old Age?
Experts in Evolutionary Science say that smaller species of snakes live as long as 12 years. However, more abundant species live to be 40 years or even longer, eventually, they will die naturally.
If they don’t die prematurely from cancer, infections, or other diseases, they live for 30 years and above.
They began to go grey, blind, and slow down eating just like humans do. Research conducted by Kylie Robert with her team of experts reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology has this to say about the lifespan of snakes.
From the research, it was shown that their lifespan is directly proportional to locomotory performance.
Faster slithers were observed to be better at escaping predators and therefore live longer than species with slow locomotory performance.
It’s therefore essential to note that in snakes, behavioral traits like slithering performance influence the avoidance of predation and may affect the evolution of life span.
Another critical study that has explained that snakes die of old age is using the Free Radical Theory.
This theory implies that oxidative stress is caused by the by-products of respiration and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Short-lived snakes are found to produce a significant number more hydrogen peroxide than the longer-lived species.
The longer-lived species of snakes produce few ROS and therefore suffer less oxidation stress, which helps to prolong their life.
How long a species lives is also influenced by how they live. Their lifespan tends to vary from species to species.
Larger species of snakes like Boas live longer compared to smaller species of snakes. Boas live for 25 years and up to 50 years. Colubrids have a life span of 15 to 25 years. Much smaller species live for 5 to 10 years before they are debilitated.
What Other Things Can Cause Snake Death?
Humans are way different from animals. We have this consciousness of birth, maturity, and death where we gradually become weak, lose fertility till eventually reach death. We can even see death approaching.
Your snake may not have died due to old age. But from other factors which could have been prevented if detected earlier.
If your snake dies for no apparent cause, it is inevitable to wonder what could have killed your snake.
If you happen to find out that the cause of its death is something that could have been prevented if you had known, you may feel guilty. So keeping this in mind, let’s delve into some of the other common causes of snake death.
Illness Caused By Diseases And Infections
Illness caused by diseases and infections is likely to kill snakes more than any other factor.
These diseases are numerous, ranging from indigestion, pains from blisters, parasitic attacks, unattended bruises and cuts, septicemia to respiratory infection.
Routine checks and careful observation are required for you to detect any disease on time because some do not have clear signs or symptoms.
Do Snakes Die From Their Venom?
No! Technically snakes are venomous and not poisonous.
The venom of snakes is proteinaceous, and the action it takes is based on biological pathways making it not deadly.
Instead you can say it is toxic. Poisons need to be consumed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
But Venom needs to get into the bloodstream for it to have a poisonous effect. Snakes don’t die from their venom because they tend to have a natural resistance to their poison.
This is because they have antibodies circulating their system that prevents the toxin from getting into their bloodstream if accidentally they are exposed to their hatred.
Signs Of An Unhealthy Snake
This might be quite challenging to check because signs of sickness in snakes take a long while before they start manifesting.
Some common signs and symptoms include loss of appetite, wrinkled skin, fatigue, unusual feces, vomiting, and discharging in the areas of the mouth and nose.
If your snake refuses to eat for a long while, it will dry out. It will have indented eyes and hold bits of skin from deficient shedding. It’ll have sticky saliva in its mouth, and it will lose weight.
Conversely, a healthy snake has bright eyes, nose, and mouth with the body rounded and full. A healthy snake is always going to be active and alert to happenings in his surroundings. A healthy snake also has healthy skin.
Wrapping Up About Snake Naturally Death
For any living creature, aging may mean approaching death.
Like every other creature, including humans, snakes stop moving once they have lived for a certain number of years, although other factors, like disease and infections, can cause death.
As oxidative stress is higher in animals with more top energy turn over rate, this explains why mice’s lifespan is shorter than a tortoise.