Discover Nature: Snake Myths

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Discover Nature this week with Missouri snakes. There are many myths out there about snakes, and one very old myth claims certain snakes once stole milk from cows and were labeled “milk snakes” because they were commonly seen around barns or sheds. It was believed these snakes drank milk from the cows, but the truth was the snakes were there to eat the mice. Some people claim that snakes run in pairs, which is another myth. Snakes do get together briefly in the spring to mate, but since they are carnivores and compete for food such as mice, frogs and fish, they tend to be loners. Most snakes seen near each other are together by chance and are not drawn by the pleasure of each other’s company. An odd myth tells of a “hoop snake” that holds its tail in its mouth and rolls downhill -- no snake really does this. Claims that snakes swallow their young when threatened or that snakes cannot bite underwater are also false. Another common misconception is that snakes are slimy. Since snakes

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