1. Ulysses says

    Can we all just pretend that vipers and serpents are hairless, limbless cats?

    I think there’s some other differences as well. Perhaps if we asked a biologist they could point out additional dissimilarities.

  2. rowanvt says

    SNAAAAAAAAAAAAKES!!!! *snuggles her corn snakes and grumpy yellow rat snake* Yay for serpents! Loves my snakies.

    *general squeeing for eternity here*

  3. UnknownEric: A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama? says

    Last fall, I was cleaning up my garden when I found a tiny little garter snake hiding under a rock. Had to be a young one, because it was about the size of a small worm. And xe got mad at me for moving xir rock and lunged at me with xir tiny little mouth and tongue. And I stood there and “awwwwwww”d. Probably not the response it was aiming for.

  4. rowanvt says

    Unknown Eric: My baby corns have done that to me. I go “awwwwwww” at it as well. It’s like being attacked by angry velcro.

  5. says

    Keep them in the house, feed them a saucer of milk, let them curl up on you for warmth, appreciate them for killing vermin… yes, that sounds fine.

    I’d like a snake, but I’ve never kept one. Do they really consume milk, as they do in the classic stories?

  6. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    I seem to remember a Larry Niven sci-fi novel that had cat-headed furry snakes in it. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me.

  7. says

    I keep having garter snakes come into my house via the basement. It’s a pain trying to catch them and get them someplace safe before the cats get them. I love having them around though. Between the snakes and the cats I think I’m the only farmhouse in town that isn’t having a massive rodent problem.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    Hi Ray!
    I referenced Niven’s cat-tails from A World Out of Time in my #3.
    But was waaaay to obscure.

  9. says

    Snakes, not being mammals, would not likely have a taste for milk. As a child, I had a children’s book on snakes that explained that myth probably came from farmers noticing that the dairy barn attracted snakes. Which were actually there because it was a bit more warm and mice were in the feed and straw.

  10. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to remember Niven’s book. Technically and pedantically, they weren’t cat-headed snakes, they were legless cats. Genetically modified or bred that way, I think, rather than simply evolved like that.

  11. says

    Samantha, while that’s plausible, it’s not about snakes not being mammals. The idea that “milk is for mammal babies” is also a myth – teleological fallacy. Many birds enjoy milk and back in the days of home delivery, would raid the foil topped bottles to get at it. It’s protein & fat. Lots of animals will consume milk, if given the option.

    Google tells me it’s a myth for the same non-reason – but also I find that snake-handlers in India feed milk to their snakes, and people saying “it’s only because they’re dehydrated” – so they can drink milk. Whether they can digest it, and whether they’d consume it if offered a choice of water or milk – I don’t know.

  12. says

    I have also heard people argue that snakes couldn’t even drink milk out of a dish because of their immobile lips and threadlike tongue. However, sea snakes drink water. There’s a biomechanical study to be done of how they manage it, and if they differ from other snakes in doing so.

  13. rowanvt says

    The thing about not drinking milk out of a dish because of immobile lips is just stupid. Clearly those people never stopped to think that snakes have to drink *somehow*. And what about birds? They have stiff beaks!

  14. says

    Well, they don’t theoretically have to drink — they could be getting enough water from their food. But you’re right, I checked for videos of drinking snakes and found lots! Another piece of handed-down information that’s quite easily proved wrong. It looks like they’re quite able to lap with their tongue; although it’s narrow, it can scoop some water into their mouth, plus what adheres to it.

  15. rowanvt says

    They aren’t really ‘lapping’. My corns will begin with the drinking motions well before even their tongue can reach the water.

  16. Tapetum, Raddled Harridan says

    My ball python is plenty cuddly. Very nice to curl up on the couch and knit with, plus he doesn’t make me sneeze, which is a definite plus.