It is a common belief around the world that snakes are the worst parents. A majority of snakes reproduce by laying eggs, while some species give birth. In the animal kingdom, parental care is key in the survival of the offspring, and it is not strange for you to worry if your pet snake will take care of its offspring.
So, do baby snakes stay with their parents? Snakes are not known to be caring parents. Many snake species that reproduce by hatching will leave their eggs unattended. However, some species will stay with the eggs until they hatch; afterward, the mother will move away from the babies. For those snake species that give live birth, some will stay with the babies for a short period of time until they can fend for themselves.
Parental care is important to the survival of baby snakes. If the parents are not around, the baby snake cannot defend itself from bigger predators. Read on to find out more about snakes’ parenting skills, if snakes can hide in their mother’s mouth and if snakes love their babies.
Snakes Parenting Skills
Most animals stay with their babies for some time until they can take care of themselves. For most snakes, it is the opposite, and some do not even meet their own offspring.
Most baby snakes are born precocial. Precocial means that the baby snake is born ready to take on the world. They can see, hear and hunt their food a few hours after they are hatched. Therefore, most baby snakes do not need their parents to bring food for them. Some of the species of baby snakes that are born precocial include corn snakes, gopher snakes, and king snakes, among others.
If you have a species of snake that is known to abandon its eggs after laying them as a pet, you need to remove its eggs from the habitat after they’re hatched. This is because they might eat their eggs if they are around them for too long. After some time has passed, these snakes will forget that the eggs belong to them and start feeding on them. Keep an eye on them to ensure they do not devour their eggs.
In the wild, snakes that do not have protection from their parents have lower survival chances. Numerous predators such as birds and lizards prey on eggs and baby snakes. If the eggs or baby snakes are not protected, they will not live to see maturity. To make up for this, snakes will lay many eggs and breed for many years, increasing the chances of a few baby snakes growing into adulthood.
There are a few exceptions where baby snakes stay with their parents for a while. For example, the African python is known to be a caring mother. An African python will keep its eggs warm until they hatch. After the baby snakes come out, an African python will keep them warm for up to two weeks before leaving them to fend for themselves. During the caring time, the snake will protect its young ones and attack anything near its eggs or babies.
How Long Do Baby Snakes Remain With Their Mother?
It will take hundreds or maybe thousands of years before a snake species wins a parenting award. Reproduction in the snake worlds involves a mother laying eggs and covering them with dirt before leaving for good.
So, how long do baby snakes remain with their mothers? Some snake species will stick around until the eggs hatch before leaving. Also, some of the live-bearing snake species will desert their babies immediately after they are born. Most baby snakes are born or hatched with survival instincts, and they will be hunting for their first meal within hours. However, some snakes like pythons will stay with their babies for up to two weeks.
Pythons will stay with their eggs until they hatch. Considering the baby pythons will only consume the egg contents due to slow digestion and are sluggish, the mother will stick around and warm the baby pythons to help increase their digestion. After two weeks, the baby pythons will have enough strength and speed to escape predators or hunt their food.
On the other hand, garter snakes give birth to their young. They usually retain the eggs in their bodies until they hatch. Once the babies are born, the mother can stay with them for a few hours or even a few days. Garter snakes are social animals, and if you keep them together, they can interact with each other. The mother can stay with her babies in her habitat, but she will not care for them.
Do Baby Snakes Hide in Their Mother’s Mouth?
Different animals have different mechanisms for protecting their offspring from danger. However, most snakes do not stick around to protect their babies from danger.
So, do baby snakes hide in their mother’s mouth? A baby snake cannot hide in its mother’s mouth. There is not enough space, and if the baby finds its way into the mother’s mouth, it will be turned into food. Snakes lay many eggs, and if they could protect their babies by swallowing them, they could leave many of their babies outside. Snakes that protect their babies like pythons will be very aggressive to anything that comes near their babies.
Snakes do not recognize their own little ones after some time. Therefore, if you see your pet snake with a baby in its mouth, it is not trying to hide it or protect it. It wants to eat the baby. Some snake species like king cobras will eat other snakes. If their babies stick around, their hunting instincts might cause them to eat them.
Do Snakes Love Their Babies?
Love is a concept that a majority of snake species do not know. A majority of snakes’ parental duties end immediately after the eggs are hatched. Whether the babies will survive or not is not their concern. Therefore, the chances of your pet snake bonding with its babies are very low.
So, do snakes love their babies? Most of the snakes do not show any affection to their babies. After they lay their eggs, it is time to move on with their lives. Snakes do not come back to check if the eggs are okay or if the babies have hatched. However, some snakes tend to care for their young ones, like African pythons, but for a short period.
A female king cobra builds a nest for its eggs and will stay around to protect it from intruders. The male king cobra will also stick around to protect the eggs and the female king cobra. The parenting duties end immediately after the babies are hatched; therefore, the babies will leave the nest and start a life independent from their parents.
Baby snakes do not have the luxury of a mother’s protection in the wild. Once they are hatched or born, they have to fend for themselves. With millions of years of evolution, baby snakes come into the world with all the survival instincts. They can hunt small animals and use other survival mechanisms such as camouflage to hide from predators.
Most baby snakes will never meet their parents. The only species of snakes that put effort into co-parenting is the king cobra and the python, but they only do it until the eggs hatch. Pythons try to take care of their babies by providing them with warmth two weeks after hatching. If you get a pet snake and it lays eggs, you will have to be the parent for the baby snakes until they grow up.