WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The eastern hognose snake has a bizarre survival technique that it uses when it feels threatened.
- It opens its mouth and turns over on its back, pretending to be dead.
- Though this snake can display behaviors similar to a cobra, it is harmless and not poisonous at all.
North Carolina State Parks and Recreation officials have urged people in the state to watch out for a so-called “zombie snake”. No, it’s not dead. It just has a habit of playing dead.
The agency’s official Facebook page posted images of the eastern hognose snake. They come in various colors, though the most common are brown or gray with blotches of dark brown. They can grow up to four feet long and are usually found in the eastern parts of the United States- from Florida to Texas to Minnesota.
Though this scaly creature tends to display some cobra-like behaviors when threatened- hissing loudly and spreading its neck (earning it the nicknames “puff adder” and “spreading adder”), Amphibian and Reptiles of North Carolina said in a statement that the snake isn’t poisonous. “They rarely bite during these displays, but they may strike repeatedly.”
The post earned dozens of comments and reactions from residents. Some even said that hearing of such a strange survival technique for a snake was a first.
When all else fails, and the ‘zombie snake’ still feels like it’s in danger, it resorts to opening its mouth and rolling over. Amphibian and Reptiles of North Carolina’s statement continues to say, “If turned over onto its belly, it will immediately roll again onto its back.”
There is an urban myth that says a hognose snake’s breath can be laced with venom and can “kill a person from a distance of twenty-five feet.” The Florida Museum says that this is completely untrue and that “Its breath is harmless.”
Source: ABC News