do snakes have a heart

Do Snakes Have A Heart?

Snakes are a popular topic of debate when it comes to the anatomy of their body. One of the most commonly asked questions among this discussion is – do snakes have a heart? After all, none of us have ever seen a snake with its chest cut open.

The Answer

The answer is yes, snakes do have a heart, although it works quite differently than that of mammals.

Snake Anatomy

The heart of a snake is located just below their throat, with lungs connected to it. They also have what’s called an aortic pump which helps to circulate blood around their body. Unlike mammals, their four chambered heart is divided into two sections so that there’s no mixing of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood which helps them conserve energy.

How Does It Work?

Snakes use the power of hydrostatic pressure, which is the same pressure found in a water tank, to move their blood around their body. This pressure is created through the help of contractions in their muscles, pushing the blood through their body like a pump.

Interesting Facts About Snake Hearts

  • Movement Through Crawling: As snakes move around by pushing their body in waves, their hearts will also contract and expand with each wave of movement.
  • Sleep: When a snake sleeps, their heart rate will slow significantly.
  • Fright: If a snake is startled, their hearts will beat faster to get more oxygen-rich blood to their main organs.


Snakes are unique creatures that have adapted over millions of years to survive in their environment. They do, in fact, have a heart that functions differently than that of mammals, using hydrostatic pressure to push the blood around their body. Allowing them to move, run, and even hide from their prey.

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