What Do Snakes Eat? Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Sara Clarke-Vivier

Sara is a recently graduated PhD in Education with interdisciplinary experience in K-12 education.

Exploring a snake's diet means meat is on the menu. In this lesson we will learn the different types of animals that snakes choose to eat. We will also look at how snakes digest their prey.

What's in a Snake's Diet?

Slither up to the dinner table as we explore the many different kinds of meat that snakes around the world eat.

A Snake Eats a Mouse
A Snake Eats a Mouse

Snakes are carnivores, which means that they only eat meat. Another way to say that an animal eats other animals is to call them zoophagous.

The type of animals that snakes eat depends on a few things. First, the food available to snakes varies depending on where in the world they live. Since snakes can be found in a variety of habitats on every continent in the world except Antarctica, this means that they eat a very wide variety of animals.

A Lora Snake Eats a Frog
Lora Snake Eats Frog

Second, the size of a snake impacts what it is able to eat. Just like your little brother or sister might not have a big enough mouth to bite into a giant cheeseburger, small snakes also have to eat small prey. Similarly, big snakes tend to eat bigger animals.

What Types of Animals Do Snakes Hunt?

Small Snakes

The world's smallest snakes live on a diet of insects and insect eggs. Small snakes may eat small mammals, like mice, rats, or rabbits. They also eat birds and bird eggs. Snakes can also eat other snakes, reptiles like lizards, or amphibians like frogs. Snakes that live in or near water may eat fish.

Large Snakes

Larger snakes are able to eat much larger prey. For example, reticulated pythons, which are one of the largest snakes in the world, are known to eat dogs and full grown pigs, and may even grow large enough to eat a human being. Large snakes have also been seen eating other large mammals, such as deer.

A Water Snake Eats a Fish
A Water Snake Eats a Fish

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