Mark A. Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter gives an overview of the biology, health, and well-being of snakes. The shape and size of the enclosure for a snake should be selected based on the snake's biology. A fossorial species should be housed in an enclosure that is long and wide. In contrast, an arboreal species should be housed in a tall enclosure to ensure that ample foliage can be placed into the enclosure. Because obesity is a common problem in large captive snakes, snakes should be provided ample area with an enclosure for physical activity. The enclosure should also be large enough to provide an appropriate environmental temperature range. The dietary habits of snakes are quite diverse, and prey selection depends on their specific anatomic adaptations. The diet for each snake should be selected based on the animal's normal feeding strategy. Arboreal snakes tend to prefer avian and mammalian prey items. Terrestrial species consume a variety of vertebrate prey (for example, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), although some are highly selective (for example, ophiophagous species primarily eat other snakes). Aquatic species generally accept fish and amphibians, although they can be trained to accept mammalian prey too.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationManual of Exotic Pet Practice
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9781416001195
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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  • Manual of Exotic Pet Practice

    Mitchell, M. A. (ed.) & Tully, Jr, T. N. (ed.), 2009, Elsevier Inc.

    Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook

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