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Snakes have no ears on the outside of their heads. This means that they do not hear air bone sounds as you do.

But snakes are sensitive to vibrations through the ground. So when a snake seems to "hear you coming", it is really feeling the ground shaking under your footsteps. Although a snake seems to have no sense of hearing, it more than makes up for it with other senses.


Most snakes can see very well. The eyes of snakes are always open, for snakes do not have movable eyelids. Snakes notice their prey more by movement than by shape or color. Snakes have a very keen sense of smell. They can recognize prey animals, enemies, and each other by odors.

Snakes also have another sense, related to both smell and taste, that human beings don't have. A snake can pick up chemical particles from the air, from the ground, or from some other animal or object, with the tips of its long forked tongue. The snake then thrusts these tips into a pair of openings in the roof of its mouth. These openings contain some highly sensitive nerve cells. And with these the snake can identify the chemical particles as food, enemy, friend, or whatever.

In fact, snakes have such a highly developed chemical sense that they can follow the trail of another animal like a well-trained hound. In addition, certain snakes-pit vipers and some boas and vipers-have a sense that no other animal has developed. They can sense a prey animal that is a little warmer or a little cooler than its surroundings.


This is a heat sense, and it enables these snakes to locate and strike a prey animal in the dark without ever seeing it!

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