Friday, 30 October 2009

Hibernation

As the cold weather bites, quite a few of our woodland critters will be nestling down for a long, deep sleep called hibernation.
Please find below, some facts about one of our main hibernating species, the snake. A much feared, yet misunderstood reptile.

Scientific names: Adder (Vipera berus) - Grass Snake (Natrix natrix).
Life span: Adder (up to 15 years) - Grass Snake (up to 25 years).
Mating: April (although never in two consecutive years). Both species.
Birth: August to early September. Both.
Young: Adder (up to 10 live young) - Grass Snake (up to 30 eggs).
Venomous: Adder (yes) - Grass Snake (no)
Active: Between February and October (depending on conditions). Both.


Fatal adder bite statistics on humans for the past 133 years.

Fatalities: Since 1876 there have been 14 fatalities caused by the adders bite in Britain, the last being a 5 year old girl.
The number of adder bites on humans, which requires hospitalisation is 200 per-year. This equates to around 1 in 300,000 people.


People who see adders are sometimes mistaken by their size as this snake is really quite small, when compared to the grass snake. Males usually grow to 60cm and females 75cm in length, the reason they look bigger is because they flatten their bodies to absorb the sun over a larger area, to warm up faster when basking and this gives the impression that they are twice as big as they really are.

The smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) is also a native snake to Britain, but it is only found in southern England.


Hope you enjoy the new video.

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