How Do Snakes Reproduce?
Pretty much the way all other vertebrates do. Snakes are all either male or female, though it may be hard to tell which is which unless you’re trained, or unless you see the snakes in the act of mating. The male has two structures called hemipenes, either of which he may use in mating with the female. The female may either lay eggs (oviparous) or retain the eggs in her body until they hatch and the young emerge alive (ovoviviparous). Baby snakes are ready to go as soon as they are hatched or born. There is no parental care in terms of feeding, though the females of a few species may remain for a few days after hatching.
Snakes reproduce sexually and use internal fertilisation. Male snakes have two penises, often called hemipenes, which under normal circumstances are out of sight inside his cloaca (the single opening through which reptiles excrete, mate and lay eggs/give birth). When the male is about to mate, the penises are everted and one is inserted into the female’s cloaca – only one is used at a time, and the male often alternates which he uses with each mating. Sperm is deposited inside the female, where it fertilises her eggs. In some snake species, the eggs are then coated in shell and laid, and will hatch after an incubation period. Most snakes simply lay their eggs somewhere warm, like an underground burrow, and leave them to develop and hatch on their own, but all python species brood their eggs – curling around them protectively and twitching their muscles to generate heat. Once the young have hatched, they stay with their mother for a couple of days before dispersing. King cobras build a
When the female is fertile, she leaves a scent on the ground as she moves around. The male uses this scent trail to locate the female. The snakes intertwine, and fertilization occurs internally. Do snakes lay eggs, or bear their young alive? Some snakes lay eggs; others bear their young alive, it depends on the species. Most pit vipers bear their young alive. There is no such thing as a mother snake. After the eggs are deposited (usually in a rotting log) or the baby snakes are born, the females responsibility ends. Can snakes bite while they are underwater? Yes, they can open their mouths and bite while underwater just like we can. Incidentally, rattlesnakes are excellent swimmers. Do snakes go blind when they shed their skin? They dont go blind, but their vision becomes cloudy and impaired just before they shed their skin. During this time, they are more dependent on their other senses. Can snakes regulate their body temperature? No, they cant; they are cold blooded. Its why they are