How dangerous are snakes?

Are snakes dangerous? 


Some people fear and dislike snakes. There are many myths that encourage people to fear snakes. Also, people may fear snakes because some are poisonous. Snakes bite people relatively rarely, and most snakebites cause only minor injuries. The majority of snakes do not have venom. Even venomous snakes often inflict dry bites. A dry bite occurs when a venomous snake pierces the skin with its fangs but does not inject venom. Some researchers think that venomous snakes can control how much venom they inject into a bite wound.


Annually 4 to 25 people will die in United States because of snakes bites. People are sometimes bitten when they accidentally step on a venomous snake. But most bites result from people trying to harm snakes. People should keep a safe distance from dangerous or unfamiliar snakes. Generally, snakes attack people only if they feel threatened. Many snakes help people by eating rats and other pests. Without snakes, these animals would do much damage.


This information is from The World Book Encyclopedia. If you would like to teach your kids more information about snakes and other creatures, see World Book's impressive collection of kids animal books.


Last Updated: Mar 25, 2013

How dangerous are snakes? Presented by Greg Grandy, Coastal Resources Scientist, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

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