Snakes are animals that are unable to make babies in the traditional sense, meaning they don’t mate and give birth. Instead, most species of snakes reproduce by laying eggs. Depending on the type of snake and environmental conditions, snakes incubate their eggs either internally or externally.
- Ovoviviparous: Female snakes of some species retain the eggs internally and protect them during incubation. It’s during this process that the young snakes receive nourishment from the egg yolk while they’re in the uterus. Once they hatch, the baby snakes are pushed out of the oviduct, where they are then on their own.
- Viviparous: In some snake species, the hatchlings receive nourishment while they’re in the uterus by connecting to the mother’s bloodstream. This type of pregnancy is made possible by the presence of an organ called a placenta. This method is considered “live birth” and is relatively uncommon in snakes.
Many species of snakes, such as king snakes, boas, pythons, and garter snakes, lay their eggs externally. Most of these species will stay with the eggs until they hatch, protecting them from predators and keeping them warm to enable proper incubation.
The demeanor of female snakes during the egg-laying process often depends on the species. Some mothers stay with the eggs until they hatch, while others will abandon them after they have been laid.
Snakes cannot give birth like mammals and instead lay eggs to reproduce. Depending on the species, some snake mothers will incubate their eggs internally, while others will lay their eggs externally before abandoning them or protecting them until they hatch.
Regardless of the incubation and protection methods, the eggs will, eventually, hatch and give birth to adorable baby snakes that are ready to face the world.