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How tall can a snake stand up?
08-22-2013, 03:30 AM,
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Ram Offline
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How tall can a snake stand up?
While I am certain the longer a snake is, the taller it can get when it "stands up", I am not exactly sure how much of the snake body length can "stand up" and become the height.

Lets say if a snake is 5 feet long. How tall can it be when it stands up?
Is it a fixed percentage of its length (always the same height) or can a snake stand up taller and shorter as it want?
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08-26-2013, 01:42 AM,
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RE: What is the height of a snake of certain length?
In general, for most terrestrial snakes, I'd say they will "stand up" between 1/3rd - 1/2 of their body length, sometimes more. There is a great deal of variance in this between species.

I actually spent the weekend at a symposium a few weeks back on arboreal snakes that had a speaker, Dr Harvey Lillywhite, PhD., currently a professor of biology at the University of Florida. He has done extensive research on the physiological and behavioral ecology of amphibians and reptiles. His topic at the symposium was on the physiological adaptations of snakes, arboreal species in particular. It was a fascinating talk, comparing arboreal species, terrestrial species, and aquatic species (sea snakes), and how different they all are. Arboreal and semi arboreal species of snakes have adapted different circulatory systems that enable them to spend more time in a vertical position than most terrestrial snakes, to the extent of being able to cantilever over 75% of their body anchored to a branch.

They also have adaptations in their lungs based on the area they live, the different stresses of gravity and outside pressure.
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08-27-2013, 12:49 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: How tall can a snake stand up?
Interesting.

Is this 1/3 to 1/2 their maximal "stressful" height (like we humans can temporarily stand on our toes to be taller) or is it their normal "comfortable" height? Do the snakes actually like to be standing up usually or is it just for special occasions?

I am wondering this because you have told me an enclosure of 1/6 of a snake's length is good. It sounds like the snake's standing up height is irrelevant to the enclosure dimensions. Smile
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09-08-2013, 07:54 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-08-2013, 07:56 PM by Fishbone.)
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RE: How tall can a snake stand up?
(08-27-2013, 12:49 AM)Ram Wrote: Interesting.

Is this 1/3 to 1/2 their maximal "stressful" height (like we humans can temporarily stand on our toes to be taller) or is it their normal "comfortable" height? Do the snakes actually like to be standing up usually or is it just for special occasions?

Well, I know you don't like this answer much, but it really depends on the species of snake. There really is no general rule that fits all. Most snakes don't really like to stand up, but some do. The actual "stressful height" varies greatly as well, some species, carpet pythons, king cobras, reticulated pythons, can easily stand up 1/2 their height, whilst others would be wobbly.

(08-27-2013, 12:49 AM)Ram Wrote: I am wondering this because you have told me an enclosure of 1/6 of a snake's length is good. It sounds like the snake's standing up height is irrelevant to the enclosure dimensions. Smile

I am actually headed back to that thread now. But, I don't remember saying anything resembling "an enclosure 1/6th of a snakes length is good". If you are referring to height, there are definitely species of terrestrial snakes (boa constrictors for example) where a 6' snake could live in a 1' high cage. But again, it varies greatly depending on species. I would say that a 1' high cage would be inappropriate for a 4' carpet python.
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09-10-2013, 11:07 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: How tall can a snake stand up?
Thanks for the answer.

I did not know snakes do not like to be in standing up position. Yes, I can totally understand the height to body ratio can be very different for different snake species.

One more question. Under what circumstances do snakes "stand up"? My guess is when they feel threatened and when they face an enemy. Am I right?
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09-13-2013, 04:55 PM,
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RE: How tall can a snake stand up?
Lol, again, my standard answer, "depends on the species", at least to some extent. Many arboreal/semi arboreal species will do it regularly, just to see whats going on. Even more commonly terrestrial species will do it occasionally.

As far as the mental picture of a snake "standing up" to defend itself against a perceived threat, maybe a king cobra is a classic example, it isn't really that common, at least not to that extent. Most snakes will obviously raise their heads in order to strike if needed, but most will stay lower to the ground, coiled, with less body exposed. The only species I keep that ever displays this at all is my olive python, Liasis olivaceus.

But overall, some species do it as a defensive posture, some do it as a means of surveying an area, some will do it to reach an area otherwise inaccessible.
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