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Do snakes blink?

There are many oddities about snakes that make them quite different than virtually any other animal. It starts with the fact that they do not have appendages, and that their bodies are a lot more like a worm than even most other reptiles. There are very few creatures that we think of as animals that are shaped like a snake and this is one of the things that make them such a peculiar beast.



While the outward look of a snake is something that is really peculiar, there is a lot more to them that make them odd. Many wonder if a snake blinks because they see them in a cage or at the zoo and notice that they stare relentlessly never seeming to look away. Even when people attempt to get them to blink by tapping on the glass or throwing something at them they find that the snake never seems to blink. This begs the question if snakes blink at all?

The answer is no, and the reason is that they cannot. Unlike most other animals, snakes do not have eye lids. This means that they not only do not blink but that they also do not close their eyes to sleep at all. They simply stare. At least, that is how it appears. Knowing this, you may wonder how a snake protects its eyes. For example, in human beings, the eye lids not only protect against objects that are flying against the eyes, but they also help to clean and wipe away things that get on the eye. How does the snake get this kind of protection?

On the eye of a snake is a transparent material that protects the eye. While it does not close to blink, it constantly remains on top of the eye and keeps the eye from being damaged by the everyday things that can cause a problem for the animal. This is incredibly important because without that covering the eye could be much more easily damaged. It should be noted that some snakes have a layer of skin that covers the eyes while they sleep, but this is not true of every snake. These snakes have the coating appear while are resting but it does not open or close quickly. This does not allow it to use the covering as any kind of protective mechanism when something is approaching the eye.

While this may seem like a decided disadvantage for the snake in keeping its eye protected, the truth is that this really helps it to stay alert to potential prey and as a defensive mechanism to keep it safe. Without a protective guard like that, it is always alert to things crawling near it so it can pounce or run away if need be. Read more: Snake Control, Venomous Snakes of Florida, How to Identify Snakes, How to Kill Snakes.


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