Jonathan Crowe

My Correct Views on Everything

How Snakes Drink

People who watch a snake drink for the first time invariably think it’s one of the coolest things they’ve ever seen, even though a vertebrate drinking water should in theory be nothing special. But it turns out that it is something quite special after all: a new study has found that three different North American snake species — eastern hognose snakes, cottonmouths, and rat snakes — use skin folds in their lower jaw like a sponge to lap water up when they drink. They can’t, after all, lap up much water with those tongues. (Boa constrictors, on the other hand, suck up water as though through a straw.)