Pine snake Facts

Pine snake Facts
Pine snake is non-venomous snake which belongs to the colubrid family. There are three subspecies of pine snake that are endemic (can be found only there and nowhere else) for southeastern parts of the United States. Pine snake inhabits pine and oak forests, fields, mountain ridges and scrublands. Since it spends a lot of time under the ground, pine snake lives in habitats that are characterized by sandy soil. Pine snakes can be found on the altitude of up to 9.000 feet. Habitat destruction and forest fire are major threats for the survival of pine snakes in the wild. Luckily, wild population of pine snake is still large and stable and these animals are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Pine snake Facts:
Pine snake can reach 48 to 66 inches in length and 4 to 8 pounds of weight.
Basic color of the body is white, yellow or brownish grey. Dark (black, brown or reddish) blotches cover entire body. They are especially prominent of the second half of the body and tail.
Pine snakes can be identified by 4 prefrontal scales (other colubrids have 2 prefrontal scales). They also have 27 to 37 rows of keeled scales on a dorsal side of the body.
Pine snakes have small head, pointed snout and stocky body.
Pine snakes are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat mice, rats, moles, birds and their eggs, amphibians and lizards.
Pine snake uses unusual technique to kill its prey. It enters the burrows of rodents and presses them against the wall using its strong body. Pine snake is able to kill more than one rodent using this strategy.
Pine snake is excellent climber. It occasionally climbs on the trees to find bird's nests.
Pine snake spends majority of time under the ground. It can dig its own burrow or it uses abandoned mammalian burrows.
Burrows are used for nesting and hiding during the summer, and for hibernation during the winter.
In the case of danger, pine snake flattens its head (to appear bigger) and lifts upper part of the body from the ground. It produces hissing and rattling sounds by inducing vibration of the epiglottis (cartilaginous structure which prevents entering of food into the windpipe during swallowing).
Mating season of pine snakes takes place during the spring.
Female lays 3 to 24 eggs in the sandy burrows from June to August. Pine snakes often lay eggs in communal burrows (couple of females lay eggs at the same burrow).
Pine snakes produce large eggs. They are usually 2 ⅝ inches long and 1 ¾ inches wide. Incubation period lasts 64 to 79 days. Young snakes are 13 to 17 ¾ inches long at birth.
Hatchlings need to fend for themselves from the moment of birth. Young animals reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years.
Pine snakes can survive 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity.

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