Miscellaneous - Sounds Wild
No Snakes in Alaska


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No snakes in Alaska

On a spring vacation fishing trip to the Natchez River in Texas, my friends and I spot a big water moccasin on a clump of brush on the riverbank. Kevin warns a couple passing in a small boat: Quote. By the end of the afternoon we've seen five water moccasins, a copperhead and a red bellied water snake, the only non-venomous snake of the day. For an Alaskan, it's a big day for snakes.

There are 15 subspecies of venomous snakes in Texas, in four groups -water moccasins, also called cottonmouths, copperheads, rattlesnakes and coral snakes. Alaska is famous for its complete absence of snakes, something most people - especially people from venomous snake country - fully appreciate. There are no lizards, freshwater turtles, or snakes in Alaska. The only reptiles in Alaska are rare sightings of sea turtles.

Texas is home to 76 species of snakes, more than any other state. As you head north, snakes and reptiles are less abundant. Oregon is home to 16 snake species.

Texas straddles the west and the south, with the wet climate in the east favored by coral snakes and the dry climate in the west favored by rattlesnakes. There are dozens of turtle and lizard species, and even alligators.

All reptiles are in some form of cold-bloodedness, and although there are a variety of metabolic strategies used by cold-blooded animals, reptiles tend to rely on solar energy for heat.