Reptiles like snakes can use many sounds to express themselves and, act accordingly in various situations. Most of these sounds are destined to deter predators rather than attack prey.
Snakes can make a great range of sounds. These can vary from growling to hissing and as expected, different snakes will have different sound capabilities, some snakes are even capable of shrieking. That is both amazing and creepy at the same time.
Reasons Why Snakes Can Make Noise at Night
Snakes can make sounds for many reasons, some of them may include:
1. To Claim Territory
They may not have ears but they can hear just fine – snakes can hear some frequencies better than cats – they are very sensitive to vibrations, especially when inside of their territory. Snakes will warn trespassers with noises to make their presence known and to alert an attack if necessary.
2. To Communicate Within Species
These reptiles are capable to communicate with others from the same species through pheromones but also through noises. Did you know that snakes can fart in self-defense? When cornered they will produce popping sounds, pushing air in and out to make any threat think twice before making a move.
3. As a Threat Display
Snakes will hiss, rattle a lot, shake their tails against bushes, scrap their scales together, and many other noises, in order to give a warning to possible predators. As long as they represent a huge threat, snakes will not let their guard down and will be very noisy.
4. When Moving Through Something
If a snake is moving around through grass, dry leaves, and other organic materials, it will make a noise. It will not be a loud noise, but still, it will make some. It may not be on purpose, but like any other animal that walks by this will produce some noise.
5. As a Response to Pain or Death
Some circumstances may lead snakes to make responsive noises due to certain situations. If they are being hurt or even killed, snakes may do noises from the pain they are feeling. Although this is not common, it may happen sometimes.
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Most Common Noises Snakes Can Do?
There are several common sounds that snakes can do when reacting to a situation, these can be:
The sound of hissing is made by the passage of air through the tube (glottis) in a snake’s throat.
When a snake starts to shriek, it sounds just like a strong wind. This is most common with the pine snake because it has a vocal cord.
Some snake species are able to growl. This is the case of the cobra, when it faces a situation of threat the cobra will stand on its tail and growl. It will not be similar to the sound that dogs and lions make, but it will be close enough.
Young snakes are pros at farting, they can do this by passing air through their cloaca – this is where they produce musk – and will force its exit with the sound of a pop. This will make a similar noise just like a human fart. It can also be called cloacal popping.
Pythons sometimes seem to do a squeaking sound, but this is often related to respiratory issues.
A rattlesnake can make this sound by shaking its tail, they do this in times of extreme tension, to make others know their presence.
What Makes Snakes Noises So Terrifying?
To the surprise of many, that’s mostly stigma. Many snakes can be very friendly and will not hurt humans, for as long as you don’t cross their line. Snakes are afraid of humans like we do of them. If both species don’t confront each other, nothing really happens and everyone can be happy.
Do Snakes Make a Noise With the Tongue?
Snake’s tongues aren’t capable of producing any sounds, this is a common general misconception. Snakes have to use their tongues to smell their surroundings, but they don’t use it to make any sound.
The actual sound comes from the snake’s glottis, who happens at the exact time they are flicking their tongues, this is why people think that the tongue movement makes the hissing sound.
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How Does the Snake Rattle Make Noise?
A rattlesnake has very strong muscles, they are able to oscillate their rattle up to 90 times a second. They do this by erecting their tail and shaking the rattle segments. These segments are hollow and made from creatine, when they collide with each other they produce a rattling sound.
Why Does It Mean When a Snake Make a Raspy Noises?
Snakes are able to do raspy sounds by rubbing their scales very hard together, this is done to send a warning to a nearby threat alerting their presence.
Animals like snakes are very good at hiding illness and other problems, and even if they are not healthy enough, they will try to act and protect their territory. If a snake is making raspy sounds it could be in respiratory distress. Usually, this is indicated by a puffy and distended throat or even excessive yawning signs.
Do Snakes Make Noises to Communicate?
Despite the lack of ears in snakes, they will do vocalization to communicate. Every time they need to send a message (as a warning) they may hiss or do rattling sounds. This is their main way to communicate.
Communication in a snake’s life is of extreme importance, and while it may be a burden to some, truth is, snake noise is beneficial even to us humans. Thanks to those warnings we are able to survive and snakes are able to live their lives at peace without considering us, predators.