It is a common misconception that snakes give birth through their mouth. Yes, snakes do carry their babies in their mouths, but that is in case they need to protect them.
For example, pythons give explicit attention to their younger ones in their early life, which includes carrying them in their mouths while going from one place to another. It is a way of protecting them.
There are different ways in which snakes give birth. Some snakes give birth by laying eggs, they are called oviparous, while the ones that give birth to live offspring are called viviparous. Then there are those that lie between the two who are called ovoviviparous. In short, the process is complicated and has variations.
Snakes give birth through their cloaca, which is also used to get rid of feces, fart, and mate. They can remove eggs through the mouth while vomiting.
They may also steal the eggs of other animal species by swallowing them. Just in case someone catches them, they throw up in order to remove the eggs and attempt to escape freely.
Boas. Aside from the mysterious Calabar boa (Calabaria reinhardtii), all other boas and their relatives give birth to live infants. Boa constrictors, rainbow boas, tree boas, sand boas, and anacondas are examples of snakes that fall within this category. They are mostly found in central and South America, with a few in Africa and Asia.
Some Elapids. Cobras, coral snakes, kraits, and their cousins are all included in the elapid family, and most reproduce by depositing eggs.
There are a few notable exceptions to this rule. All sea snakes, including death adders (Acanthophis), give birth to live offspring. Except for Antarctica, these species may be found all over the globe.
Vipers. There are a few notable exceptions to the rule but almost all vipers, including pit vipers, give birth to live offspring.
Snakes, like vipers and pit vipers, may be found across the world, including in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Several species survive in extremely cold temperatures, yet they are all poisonous. These are snakes that give birth to live offspring!
Why Did Livebearing Snakes Evolve?
Both viviparous (without eggs) and ovoviviparous (with an egg kept within the female body) methods of giving birth to live young snakes have been addressed before, and both result in fully functioning baby snakes.
The vast majority of viper species, all rattlesnake types, boa constrictors, and green anacondas, as well as other members of the Boidae family, give birth to live offspring.
They belong to the Hydrophiinae subfamily of the Elapidae family, which contains poisonous cobras and adders as well as mambas and other sea snake species.
Almost all sea snakes give birth to live young, with the exception of Laticauda (shown above), which implies that infants are born alive in the water.
When it comes to snakes, there is no parental protection, thus newborn live snakes are entirely on their own. The hatchlings are left to fend for themselves from the moment they are born. Hence, snake pups like rattlesnakes are born completely armed with fangs and venom, ready to deliver a lethal bite to their victims.
Ovoviviparous species of snakes are those that are capable of giving birth to live young. A rattlesnake belongs to this kind, meaning a female carries eggs for three months before the eggs hatch within the body and the young are born alive.
There are still significant differences between ovoviviparous and viviparous live births when it comes to animal reproduction (such as most species of mammals).
Ovoviviparous animals have eggs that grow and hatch within the mother body and stay there for a while so that development may proceed.
Ovoviviparous snakes, in contrast to many viviparous species, do not have umbilical cords or placentas to feed, oxygenate, or exchange waste. Garter snakes, for example, are commonly known under this umbrella.
Ovoviviparous babies like the garter snakes eat on the yolks of their egg sac when they are initially born within their mother. Ovoviviparous children have more time to grow in their mothers because of their delayed birth after hatching.
As a result, they are farther along in their development than oviparous snakes that hatch from externally deposited eggs or viviparous species (they are bigger in size, better equipped to feed and defend themselves) after birth. Rinkhals, sea snakes, water snakes, garter snakes, boa constrictors, anacondas, white-lipped snakes, rattlesnakes, and Amazon tree boas are some types of snakes that give live birth.
Fish has a face of a human and those cute kicky legs
A smiling baby thornback ray, known also as thornback skate, is quickly becoming a star attraction at the Aquarium in the Croatian city of Pula.
The baby ray, which is the first of its species born in an aquarium in Croatia, has been named Srećko (lucky) by aquarium staff because of his sweet smile.
“This charismatic smile of his has won over all of us in the aquarium, and I think he is slowly winning over the whole of Croatia. He is indeed very special,” Marina Benazic, a biologist in the Aquarium, told N1.
Rays and sharks are in danger of extinction due to large fisheries, pollution of the sea and climate change, so the birth of Srećko, they say at the Aquarium in Pula, is a great hope that these animal species will be preserved for reproduction.
Srećko, who was just 8 cm long in his first few days, spends his time playing in his tank with his seven brothers and sisters. Staff feed the young rays periodically as they are can not eat on their own yet.
“These little rays are not used to catching their own food yet, so we offer them krill. Srećko can not catch them yet on his own because they are too fast for him,” said biologist Matea Stankic.
Srećko (Photo: Dusko Marusic/PIXSELL)
The Adriatic Sea is home to a dozen species of ray fish. Once Srećko and his siblings grow, they are expected to be moved to Dubrovnik and either be placed in another aquarium or released into the Adriatic Sea.
“We are working on that for Srećko, there are various EU programmes for reintroduction. We are in talks with the Ministry (of Maritime Affairs), and we’re expecting a positive response,” said Pula Aquarium manager, Marija Aleksandra Bel-Dajkovic.
Lucky would be just fine in the wild, that largest aquarium of them all. After all, it is in his nature. For now, though, he and his little siblings are more than content under the watchful eye of their carers in the Pula Aquarium, N1 concluded.