Monday, April 25, 2011

MILK SNAKE: Telling Stories

One of the most widely distributed of terrestrial Snakes, Milk Snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum) are found from Canada to Ecuador.  People will often discover these Snakes living under rocks or wooden boards.  As opportunistic hunters, Milk Snakes successfully prey upon Rodents that live in those places.
Boldly patterned Milk Snakes are sometimes mistaken for Copperheads and Rattlesnakes.  Moreover, one member of the Milk Snake Family, Scarlet Kingsnake resembles Coral Snake.  Like their fellow King Snakes, Milk Snakes also hunt Copperheads and Rattlesnakes but not Coral Snakes.
An Old World folk tale has become associated with Milk Snakes.  According to various stories, Milk Snakes suck the milk from nursing mothers and cows until they are dry.  Of course, Milk Snakes lack the anatomy to suck and digest milk.  So these folk stories are false.
This myth arose because people discovered these nocturnal Snakes nosing about their homes and barns.  Milk Snakes were of course hunting Rats living in abundance there.  However, instead of sucking milk, these Snakes brought good health by killing vermin instead.
            Check your facts thoroughly before telling stories counsels Milk Snakes.  Silly stories may abound about these Snakes but they do cause undue fear in humans.  Imagine a person encountering a Milk Snake after hearing these inane tales.  Instead of repeating tales, discover if they are true or not or you may cause harm to innocent parties.

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