why do snakes hiss

BEHIND A SNAKE’S HISS

Why do snakes hiss?

We are all kind of familiar with the fact that snakes make a sound. Unlike other animals or us humans who can make other noises, snakes just have the one hiss. That noise that we hear is a reaction to whatever emotion, feeling, or reaction they have. In other words they hiss the same whether they feel threatened, are content or are hunting. For smaller snakes, it’s a quieter kind of hiss. Different snakes have different hisses – some much louder than others! It can give the impression that they are aggressive and venomous.

Snakes hiss for many reasons. They may be hissing on response to feeling threatened by a predator. They also do it in an attempt to intimidate predators. They may occasionally hiss if they feel stressed or in a situation that makes them fearful. Wild snakes hiss as a defense mechanism and for protection.

How do snakes hiss?

Snakes are of course hugely different to humans and other mammals in terms of their anatomy and physiology. This makes everything about them very different. From the way that they eat to the way that they move to the sounds that they make and how they make them.

Snakes breathe through an organ in the throat called the glottis. The glottis opens and closes controlling the flow of air as they breathe normally. The glottis opens again when the snake breathes out and does not make a sound. If the snake forces out air with a hard exhalation, a piece of cartilage in the glottis vibrates. This is what causes the hissing sound.

Do all snakes hiss?

Basically, all species and types of snakes have the same basic anatomy in terms of construction of their mouth, throat, and glottis. They are all physically capable of hissing. However, not all choose to make a hissing sound.

Do snakes hiss to communicate?

Snakes are not usually social creatures. They don’t hiss to say hello to other snakes. They are only found together if they are hibernating as a group. They also come together for breeding purposes. So if a snake is hissing at another snake, it’s probably a threat.

What type of noises scare snakes away?

It actually doesn’t matter what sounds you make to scare a snake away. Snakes don’t have ears and that makes them totally deaf. But they do have a strong sense of vibration and that will be what frightens them most of the time. They might not hear you but if you stomp your feet on the ground, they feel the vibrations and that will make them move away. They are fearful creatures. If you don’t want them to stick around, try eliminating their hiding areas. They like to hide in tall grasses and piles of wood and rocks. Eliminating other small animals like frogs, lizards, or rats, will help reduce the number of snakes around your home or garden. They feed on them and so if they have a hard time finding food, they won’t stay around for too long.

To avoid getting bit, wear shoes when you are outdoors. Don’t get too close or attempt to touch them. They will attack if they feel in danger. Give the snake plenty of time and space to escape instead of trying to attack it.

If you are worried or have any questions, give Pat a call, at A1 Sake Relocations, based in Brisbane North.

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