There are many different types of snakes in our world and among those are few that like water and others that like the land. Some are kept by people as pets while others only roam around in the wild because they are just too dangerous.
But, why is identification of snakes important in the first place? Why does it matter to find out how to identify a copperhead snake or any one for that matter? Before moving on to the actual process, it only makes sense to give a brief insight into why this matters.
Snake bites kill a devastating number of people each year. Out of these deaths, most occur in poor countries. This is due to poor countries not having access to advanced medical services and remedies that can prevent deaths from snake bites. If you know whether the snake is poisonous or not, it can be really helpful.
With that being said, understanding snake bites is really important. The most knowledge people get about snake bites and how one can cure them comes from movies and cartoons. This information is mostly inaccurate, so relying on it won’t help your cause.
For instance, contrary to popular belief, sucking out venom from a snakebite is actually not advisable. In fact, experts claim that there is no evidence to this. So people who tried following Hollywood movies or cartoons just made it worse for the person who got bitten.
In reality, if you suck venom from a snake bite you could end up increasing the flow of the venom in the bloodstream. This means the person will have even lesser chances of surviving. That is exactly why understanding snake bites is crucial.
People need to understand that movies and cartoons do these things because they look good on screen, not because they are right. How attractive would it look if someone did not intervene with the snake bite? In reality, you can cause more harm than good if you mess it up somehow.
Why Is it Important to Identify Snakes?
As mentioned earlier, the planet has multiple types of snakes. Out of these, some are harmful while some are harmless. Assuming the threat one snake poses based on assumption or experience is not recommended at all. In fact, people usually assume that the brightest looking snake is the most dangerous. Or, the smallest snake is the least dangerous.
This might not be true at all. Obviously, it is almost impossible for everyone out there to know and remember every type of snake. Some general tips should be kept in mind. Knowing the type of snake can make a difference at the end of the day.
For hospitals that treat snake bites, identifying the type of snake involved is extremely crucial. This can help them speed up the process of treatment. It is true that physicians who are not experienced with snake bites will usually end up consuming more time than they should.
Treatment of Snake Bites
When a patient with a snake bite enters the hospital, the staff needs to check if the patient’s life is in immediate danger due to breathing or circulation. You may not be aware of this but at times breathing can be compromised at certain points due to the snake’s venom.
Then, the doctor determines the patient’s current status. They try to understand the type of snake that has bitten the patient and assess how bad the situation has become according to the duration of the time that has passed.
To control the damage, medical experts administer an antivenin that prevents death, or any major illness such as paralysis or heart problems. Antivenin is also known as antivenom and is used to treat specific snake venoms.
How to Identify Snakes
Snakes can be easily identified thanks to their patterns. Observing their usual habits or the place they are found can be helpful too. Most animals or reptiles are creatures of habit. They usually follow patterns that could be used for their identification. With snakes, this stands true as well.
In fact, if you have ever wondered how to identify a copperhead snake, you might be surprised to know that it is actually quite simple.
The copperhead snake, for instance, has a copper-like color with some dots sprinkled on the top. A copperhead snake has a triangle-shaped head and their heads are usually bigger than the size of their necks. This makes their necks look narrow.
Moreover, copperhead snakes are not very big in length. They are about three feet long after hitting maturity, plus their shape is a bit bulky. People say a copperhead’s eyes resemble a cat, and this is somewhat true. What’s interesting about copperheads is that they know how to swim.
Swimming snakes are always dangerous. They may blend into the water really well, and the way they swim could make you unable to view them. So if someone jumps in a pool of water without first checking it, then that might not work out well. Especially in a wild, unprotected area.
Copperhead snakes are experts at hunting. They wait for their prey by wrapping themselves in a coil position, and they like to remain still while staying in this position. This is done to avoid attracting attention.
Essentially, all copperhead snakes are pit vipers. The reason why pit vipers are called by that name is because their head has a pit. This pit’s purpose is to detect heat in the environment. Which means, they have natural night vision goggles.
Even at night, copperhead snakes are excellent hunters. They can see and determine the size of their prey thanks to the pit on their heads. Fortunately for humans, copperheads like to steer clear away from us. However, if you happen to be in their habitat and you step on one, you can expect it to bite you and inject venom in you at that moment.
Meanwhile, baby copperhead snakes have either green lines or a bright yellow color on their tail. This mark stays on their tail for a year, then it fades. A baby copperhead only measures up to 10 inches and almost all of them have a light brown color, or sometimes red too. Some younger ones may have a grey color as well.
All and all, no matter how much information one person accumulates about snakes and their types, it is always best to be safe. Even though copperhead bites do not kill a lot of people, it still hurts. If medical care is not available, then things can get dangerous as well. A general tip is to be familiar with the area you are heading to and ask the locals or a guide. It is also better to be a little more careful in summers as snakes are the most active at that time.