Snakes that Give Live Birth
Snakes are mysterious and fascinating creatures, and the way they go about reproducing can be just as fascinating. While the majority of snakes lay eggs, there are some that give birth to baby snakes or hatchlings.
Types of Live-Bearing Snakes
Below is a list of some of the most common snakes that give live birth:
- Boa Constrictors: Boa constrictors are one of the larger species of what are known as “New World snakes”. These snakes can commonly be found in Central and South America, as well as Mexico, and they give birth to live young.
- Anacondas: Anacondas are closely related to the boa constrictor, and they also give birth to living young. They are one of the only snake species that produce large litters, with the typical anaconda giving birth to upwards of 40 baby snakes at a time.
- Pythons: Python snakes, unlike boas and anacondas, are from the “Old World” and are generally found in parts of Africa, southeast Asia, and Australia. Similar to boas and anacondas, these babies come out alive and ready to take on the world.
- Hognose Snakes: This species, which is common throughout the United States, gives birth to litters of living babies. Generally, their litters are much smaller than other live-bearing snake species, usually ranging from 4-8 babies.
Advantages of Giving Birth
There are many advantages to giving birth, compared to laying eggs. The babies that are born live are typically more robust and can more quickly start eating and hunting on their own. Snakes that give birth likely have an evolutionary advantage, as they are able to provide the immediate protection and nutrition to their offspring.
In conclusion, understanding how life begins for snakes is a fascinating insight into their biology and natural world. While a majority of snakes lay eggs, there are a small number of species that opt to give birth to living young. Regardless of the type of reproduction, it is an amazing process that humans are lucky enough to witness.