What Do Snakes Eat?
For thousands of years people have been interested in reptiles and in particular snakes and many people have owned them as pets.
Others on the other hand have been are very scared of snakes and won't go anywhere near them. In addition to snakes being scary they can also spread disease and do great damage to livestock and crops.
As an owner of a snake though it is important to know what they can and cannot eat as you want them to have a happy and healthy life.
Here are just a few animals that snakes eat:
It is a shock to find out that recently in the news a Burmese python was actually found with the hoof of a deer in its stomach in Florida.
When you think about it is pretty amazing to find out that when a snake eats its prey it will eat the whole thing and not leave anything behind. This means it will eat the hooves, head, ears, legs, arms and everything else!
The way a snake is able to eat its whole prey even if the animal is larger than their mouth is because they have the ability to unlock their jaws to fit many different large prey. Such as:
- Other snakes
- Frogs & Toads
- Other Birds
And the reason a snake eats their prey whole is because they are unable to tear their prey up in order to eat it. They do not have the strength in their jaw like other predators such as lions to rip and tear the preys flesh.
Additionally the teeth of a snake is not meant to chew at all and therefore they swallow their prey.
There are certain types of snakes that have fangs but they aren't used to chew but rather used to carry venom so poison and stun their prey before eating them.
While the prey is paralyzed they can take a strong grip of their prey with their body and slowly swallow them whole.
Other Related Questions
Here are some related questions owners or even snake enthusiasts may want to know the answer to when it comes to what snakes can eat.
Table Of Contents
- Do Snakes Eat Crickets?
- Do Snakes Eat Insects?
- Do Snakes Eat Rabbits?
- Do Snakes Eat Plants?
- Do Snakes Eat Birds?
- Do Snakes Eat Squirrels?
- Do Snakes Eat Turtles?
- Do Snakes Eat Turtle Eggs?
- Do Snakes Eat Fish?
- Do Snakes Eat Spiders?
- Do Snakes Eat Frogs?
- Do Snakes Eat Pigs?
- Do Snakes Eat Weasels?
- Do Snakes Eat Snakes?
- Do Snakes Eat Crows?
- Do Snakes Eat Flies?
- Do Snakes Eat Zebras?
Do Snakes Eat Crickets?
Yes, some snakes will eat crickets while other types of snakes will not as they are not interested in eating this food. So, yes it is safe to feed crickets to snakes but as the snakes grow older and bigger they will prefer to eat larger foods compared to their head and body size. The larger foods take long to digest in their system and that is the type of food they enjoy eating.
Do Snakes Eat Insects?
Actually yes snakes do in fact eat insects as part of their diet. Especially as babies and the smaller snakes will eat insects as part of their regular diet. However for the larger and adult snakes their diet will usually consist of larger prey that carries more substance such as as mice and rats because they are more filling.
Do Snakes Eat Rabbits?
Yes, snakes will eat rabbits as they are carnivores and one of the foods they like to eat includes rabbits. A snake depending on its size will shallow a rabbit whole that is a comparable size of its body. Snakes usually try to stick to eating foods that they can easily swallow without difficulty so they can slowly digest the food after its been consumed as they cannot chew their prey.
Do Snakes Eat Plants?
Nope, snakes do not eat plants as part of their diet at all because they are completely carnivores and strictly eat meat only. Therefore never try and feed plants or something similar to your snake as it is not good for their health.
Do Snakes Eat Birds?
A matter of fact, yes snakes will eat birds among other things. Snakes that are big, strong and brave enough will kill and swallow birds whole. Normally what a snake will do is constrict around the bird until it is dead and then swallow the bird whole just like it does with majority of the foods it eats. Smaller snakes are less likely to eat birds but if they are easy prey they will try and feed on birds.
Do Snakes Eat Squirrels?
Yes, if a snake is large enough and can catch the squirrel it will eat it whole. However depending on the type of squirrel there are some instances where squirrels are actually resistant to snakes venom and therefore escape being captured and eaten by snakes. There is also one documented chase where a California ground squirrel actually caught and ate the small snake which is very rare. Most squirrels do not eat meat let along snakes. However to answer the question again yes snakes will at times eat squirrels.
Do Snakes Eat Turtles?
No, it is not recommended for a snake to eat turtles and for the most part they do not try to eat turtles. However there are rare instances when snakes have tried to eat turtles but this isn't the ideal case because turtles have very strong shells that snakes cannot easily digest it. Additionally snakes do not have powerful jaws and are unable to crack the shell of a turtle to more easily digest this prey. Therefore it is best for snakes not to try and eat turtles.
Do Snakes Eat Turtle Eggs?
Yes, unlike turtles themselves snakes have much easier time eating turtle eggs as they are a lot softer as the shell of the turtle hasn't fully developed and isn't very strong like it is with an adult turtle. Therefore you will find that snakes will swallow turtle eggs whole and are a good snack for snakes to have. However in the wild snakes have a very difficult time finding turtle eggs as they cannot dig them up like coyotes, foxes, and dingos can.
Do Snakes Eat Fish?
Yes, all types of snakes can eat fish but that doesn't mean you should be feeding fish to your snake. Lots of inland species of snakes don't know how to catch fish as they are unfamiliar with them. As well eating fish can make a snakes poop stinky and runny which makes for a big mess to clean up. Also a lot of snakes don't like the taste of many types of fish. Therefore fish can be eaten by snakes but it isn't really recommended.
Do Snakes Eat Spiders?
Snakes can eat spiders but not many species of snakes are known to eat spiders in general. There can be some issues that arise for snakes if they were to eat spiders such as some of the spiders can be poisonous and cause issues for a snakes health. Also some larger spiders are even known to eat smaller snakes. However some snakes such as the ribbon snake are known to eat spiders and other cold-blooded prey. As well the ring-necked snake is known to eat spiders.
Do Snakes Eat Frogs?
Yes, snakes can eat frogs but there are some instances where some frogs can be toxic and in that case a snake has to be very careful. Snakes that find poisonous frogs need to bite them first and let the poison where off and the frog die first and then they can swallow the frog whole afterwards. The dying frog can hop some distance before it dies so the snake will need to track it for while before eating it whole. But yes some snakes dog eat frogs. There is also one instance recorded in Australian news where a frog actually eat a whole small snake whole.
Do Snakes Eat Pigs?
Yes, some of the larger snakes such as Anacondas and Pythons do have the ability to eat pigs whole! What they will do is constrict around the pig until they kill it and then slowly swallow the pig whole and digest it over a long period of time!
Do Snakes Eat Weasels?
Weasels (Mustela) for the most part are very small mammals the only grow roughly up to 18 inches in length and weigh a few pounds at most. Since they are pretty small in size snakes are known to swallow weasels whole. So to answer this question yes snakes definitely do eat weasels as part of their diet.
Do Snakes Eat Snakes?
It may surprise some people to find out that the answer is Yes snakes do in fact in other snakes. In particular King snakes and King Cobras are known to be cannibals in that they will eat other snakes as one of their primary sources of their diet. King snakes also have the ability to eat other poisonous snakes because they have resistance to some venom's. Also some kingsnakes have the ability to kill and eat snakes that are up to 20% bigger than them. They first strangle the larger snake and then consume it whole. Most other types of snakes don't normally eat other snakes but in the right conditions such as starvation will eat other snakes to survive.
Do Snakes Eat Crows?
Yes, snakes do in fact eat crows if they can catch them. It is also known that some crows will eat smaller snakes. So it works both ways but for the most part snakes, especially the bigger types will have the upper hand and eat crows and swallow them whole.
Do Snakes Eat Flies?
Yes, snakes such ribbon and queen snake will eat such flies as dragonflies. As well you can purchase carrion flies from the pet shop to feed to your snake. Snakes are carnivores and therefore they strictly eat meat and for the most part flies don't provide a lot of substance to them but smaller snakes may enjoy eating flies from time to time.
Do Snakes Eat Zebras?
Yes, but it is not normal that a snake will eat a zebra because they are just too large in size. However there are been some documented cases where very large snakes such as anacondas have actually eaten a Zebra whole so it is possible. However as mentioned it isn't a normal occurrence.