Snake Rattle

Ophidiophobia, or fear of snakes, is the most common fear in the United States! More than half of the population’s largest fear are our legless friends, followed by public speaking and heights. What about slithering snakes makes us so uncomfortable? The cliché is true, snakes are more scared of us than we are of them. Herpetologists, scientists that study snakes, reptiles, and amphibians, have a special passion for these amazing creatures.

Snakes are closely related to lizards, having evolved past the need for legs more than 150 million years ago. Our legless friends can be found across the planet excluding Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand. Nearly all snakes swallow their prey whole, opening their jaws wide to swallow food larger than their heads. Snakes can swallow animals up to 3 times as large as their head is wide! Due to snakes ingesting such large portions at a time, adult snakes only eat every two weeks. Talk about eating until you’re stuffed!

Using forked tongues, snakes smell their surroundings to find food or avoid dangers. Pit holes are openings in the front of snakes’ heads which assist them in detecting heat from warm-blooded prey while their jaw bones sense vibrations of scurrying animals. Snakes are miraculous predators!  Venomous snakes use their poison to paralyze their food, while nonvenomous snakes, like the python, constrict or choke their prey.

Snakes range from 4 inches to 30 feet long! Snakes are covered in scales which help them trap moisture in dry climates and reduce friction as they glide across the ground. These scales are composed of keratin, the same substance that human fingernails and hair are made of. Humans regularly lose their dead skin cells, but snakes shed their entire skin at once. Molting is the process in which snakes peel off their outer layers of skin to remove parasites and make room for growth. Finding a snakeskin in your yard or garden is evidence of a reptile neighbor!

There are more than 3,600 known snake species, and only 600 of them are venomous. The United States is home to 4 venous snakes including copperheads, cottonmouths or water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. These snakes are responsible for fewer than 10 deaths annually! Snakes seldom approach and attack humans, most snake bites occur when someone accidentally steps on a snake. Most snakebites are no more than a few pinpricks of blood and topical irritation; snakes cannot carry rabies or other diseases. The likelihood of being seriously injured by a slithering snake is rare, fortunately!

Rattlesnakes, one of the United State’s venomous reptiles, are the newest and most evolved snakes in the world. The rattlesnake obtained their name from their highly advanced warning signal, a rattling tale warding off predators before a venomous strike. Within the snake’s tail are pieces of keratin collected with each skin shed, these pieces knocking together to create their infamous buzzing sound. This species of pit viper is most often found in the deserts of the American Southwest, feeding on small rodents or lizards. Rattlesnakes are some of the most known and easily recognizable snake species!

Join our HTHT @ Home Science Experiment and make your own snake rattle: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/EOTD_Snake_Rattle_Lesson.pdf

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Cactus Survival

Written by: on May 26, 2020 @ 6:00 am

When picturing a desert landscape, one plant stands apart from the barren desert horizon: the cactus.  Most people hear the word cactus, they think of a resilient, thorny plant in a lifeless habitat. There are more than 2,000 species of cactus that vary in shape, color, size, and type of habitat! While cacti are native […]

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Sand and Seashells

Written by: on May 20, 2020 @ 6:00 am

For most people, a vacation looks like playing in the sand on a sunny beach.  While you may be annoyed as you clean sand out of every crevasse for weeks after your beach trip, take the opportunity to recognize the 4.5-billion-year history of sand! Sand can be found all over, from the beach to backyard […]

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Sea Urchins

Written by: on May 19, 2020 @ 6:00 am

Sea urchins are often called the porcupines of the sea due to their prickly appearance. These spikey creatures can be found in all oceans, warm to cold, around the world in rock pools, mud, coral reefs, or sea grass beds. Like many invertebrates, sea urchins depend on a tough outer shell to keep them safe, […]

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Echolocation

Written by: on May 18, 2020 @ 6:00 am

What is echolocation? Echolocation uses sound waves and echoes to determine the placement of objects, making it possible to maneuver and find food in complete darkness! For nocturnal animals or animals with subpar sight, echolocation is a radar to help them navigate through the world. Bats, dolphins, toothed whales, and a few types of birds […]

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Collagen Rich Foods

Written by: on May 14, 2020 @ 6:00 am

Did you know that collagen makes up 75 percent of skin’s support structure? You probably think about collagen in your skin because the word comes up whenever anyone is talking about skin aging. It’s true that this protein plays a role in the perceived youthfulness of your skin, but there’s so much more to it. […]

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Nature’s Density

Written by: on May 13, 2020 @ 8:45 am

What is Density? Density is how much ‘stuff’ is packed into a particular area. For example, if we have 13 balls in a box and we have the same box with 27 identical balls inside it. We say the box with 27 balls has higher density than the box with 13 balls. Density is a […]

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Catogories: Experiments: Science Made Fun, hands-on, HTHT, Science
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Bang in a Bag

Written by: on May 12, 2020 @ 8:45 am

A chemical reaction is a process in which one or more chemicals (or things) combine to make something new. The ‘things’ or chemicals that we started with are called Reactants and the new ‘thing’ that is made are called Products. It is called a chemical reaction since: It is accompanied by a rearrangement of the […]

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Catogories: Experiments: Science Made Fun, hands-on, HTHT, Science
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Bag Stab & Polymerization

Written by: on May 11, 2020 @ 8:45 am

A plastic bag is made of polymers, long chains of individual molecules called monomers. When a sharp pencil pierces the bag the polymer chains separate without breaking. The chains of molecules then squeeze tightly around the pencil creating a seal that prevents it from leaking. Polymers find use in our everyday life, from water bottles and Tupperware to tires for automobiles. The word […]

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Catogories: Experiments: Science Made Fun, hands-on, HTHT, Science
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MEDIEVAL ENGINEERS: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE CATAPULT

Written by: on May 6, 2020 @ 8:45 am

A catapult is a lever, a stick or beam, propped up by a fulcrum, the pivot point. The catapult magnifies your force to throw an object. So, you do not need as big of a force to propel a large object, but the larger the force, the farther it goes. In ancient times, catapults were […]

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Catogories: Experiments: Science Made Fun, hands-on, HTHT, Science
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