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Flying Snakes

Looks like a flying S.
Courtesy of Jake Socha
One of five species of flying snakes.
Courtesy of Jake Socha
Flying snakes live in trees.
Courtesy of Francis Lim

Can snakes really fly? No, but there's a group of snakes called flying snakes. There are five different species. Most of them are about three to four feet long (1 to 1.2 meters.) They can be found in trees in the lowland tropical rainforests of Southeast and South Asia.

Flying snakes don't have wings. They 'fly' by flattening their bodies from head to tail when they are in air. To do this, they suck in their gut and form a U-shaped half-cylinder with their entire body. They hold their tail stiffly upwards and twist their tail from side to side for balance - it looks like they are swimming in air. By doing that they can cross as much as 100 meters. As graceful as it looks, the snakes always crash-land very clumsily.

Flying snakes can't fly upwards. Technically, they are parachuters, although some of them might be considered gliders. Like most things that go up, snakes have to come down. They can only fly or glide to a lower spot. To get from one destination to another they head to higher ground (or branches in their case) and start from there. Normally, they 'fly' from tree to tree but sometimes they go from tree to ground. Flying snakes are considered harmless but most of them will bite if they get the chance. Unless you are allergic to them, there's not much to worry about. Unless you are Kidzworld founder Allen Achilles, whose real name is Alasdair Achilles. He is terrified of snakes.

Do they land on people? If you are directly below them they might land on you but there's no record of it happening before. You don't have to worry about snakes dropping out of the sky in Southeast Asia.

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Comments

micheal576

micheal576 wrote:

sorry for foul language
commented: Tue Feb 04, 2014

micheal576

micheal576 wrote:

####### snake. i hate you
commented: Tue Feb 04, 2014

-T_Raw-_2595111
I Wish Flying Snakes Were Real For I Can Get Bit By One And Fly
commented: Fri Nov 15, 2013

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