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Picture of two snakes

Types of snakes

Common snakes.

Photo of an adder

Ais forAdder

Scientific name: vipera berus
An adder is the name given to the common European viper. These snakes are venomous.

Ais forAsp

Asp is another word for snake, particularly a venomous snake. The historically named asp was probably an Egyptian cobra.
Photo of a cobra.

Cis forCobra

Cobras are a kind of venomous snake found in Africa, India, the Middle East and Indonesia. They rear up and flatten out their neck like the snake in the picture when they are scared. Cobras are the snake of choice for snake charmers, who seem to hypnotise a snake by playing a musical instrument in front of it.
Photo of a python

Pis forPython

Scientific name: genus: python
Pythons are non-venomous snakes that usually kill their prey by wrapping around them and suffocating them. There are seven species of python, found in Africa, Asia and Australia. Some pythons can grow to be extremely large.
Photo of a rattlesnake.
Scientific name: subfamily: crotalinae
Rattlesnakes cause most snake bite injuries and deaths in America. They are a threatened species now because people kill so many of them. Rattlesnakes scare off predators by rattling their tails. The rattling sound is made by special scales at the end of the rattlesnake's tail.
Photo of a coiled snake.

Sis forSnake

Snakes are a type of reptile that has no legs. They come in many colours and patterns, and some kinds of snake can grow to be several metres long. Snakes jaws do not lock open like ours do, but can open a huge way. They can swallow small animals that are much bigger than their heads. Snakes only need to eat every few days. Some snakes are very poisonous and can kill a person in one bite. Other snakes kill their prey by wrapping themselves around it and suffocating it. You should always be careful around snakes. Some kinds of non-venomous snake are sold as pets, but often a special license is needed and pet snakes should still be treated with care as they might eat other household pets and have been known to kill very small children.

Vis forViper

Viper is a common name for a venomous snake.