Ireland, the Country Without Snakes

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

According to a legend, St. Patrick used the power of his faith to drive all the snakes from Ireland into the sea. Though it sounds impressive, it’s not exactly what happened.

In fact, Ireland has never really had snakes, and it’s not the only country in the world without the legless reptiles. The same goes for New Zealand, Hawaii, Greenland, and Iceland, and the reason is simple: they are all islands.

Ireland was once part of a larger landmass. Around 10,000 years ago when the Ice Age ended, the glaciers started to melt, which resulted in Ireland separating from the land and becoming an island. Snakes did not make it to the island and they didn’t get a chance to make it across later.

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The same Asp Viper (Vipera aspis) as last week, but with a different composition. On this photo the forked tongue is visible. The tongue of this Asp Viper has some interesting features. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ A forked tongue is a tongue split into two distinct tines at the tip. Snakes have a complex receptor system built into their tongue. Snakes “smell” (sense chemicals) using the tip of their tongue, and a forked tongue allows them to sense from which direction a smell is coming. The tongue is flicked out of the mouth regularly to sample the chemical environment. This increased ability to sense chemicals has allowed for heightened abilities to identify prey, recognize kin, choose mates, locate shelters, follow trails, and more. When a snake follows the trail of its prey the difference in chemicals on their left and right tip can guide them in the right direction. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ © 2019 Ronald Zimmerman. All rights reserved. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Feel free to follow me on Instagram. 🙂 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #wildlife #photography #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #nature #snake #snakes #reptile #reptiles #herping #reptilesofInstagram #snakelove #wildlifephotographer #herpetology #animal #animals #fieldherpetology #naturelovers #reptilelover #fieldherping #bbcearth #snakesofinstagram #viper #snakesofig #herpsofinstagram #earthcapture #naturephotographer #wildlifeconservation #biodiversity #wildlifeplanet @bbcearth

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Finding any viper species is always a special moment. The vertical pupils, keeled scales and striking poses are just breathtaking. Vipers always earn some extra respect with their elegancy and being a venomous snake. All of this came together in this special moment with a male Viper (Vipera aspis). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ A healthy adult person can overcome an Asp viper bite without too many complications. Certain kind of people such as children and elderly or unhealthy persons may suffer serious complications which could be fatal. A bite should always be monitored by a doctor and treated in a hospital. Needles to say if you don’t provoke an Asp Viper they will not have to defend themselves (and bite).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ © 2019 Ronald Zimmerman. All rights reserved. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Feel free to follow me on Instagram. 🙂 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #wildlife #photography #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #nature #snake #snakes #reptile #reptiles #herping #reptilesofInstagram #snakelove #wildlifephotographer #herpetology #animal #animals #fieldherpetology #naturelovers #reptilelover #fieldherping #bbcearth #snakesofinstagram #viper #snakesofig #herpsofinstagram #earthcapture #naturephotographer #wildlifeconservation #biodiversity #wildlifeplanet @bbcearth

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