Alaska is a vast and wild land, home to some of the most spectacular and diverse wildlife on the planet. But lurking beneath the snow and ice are some unexpected inhabitants – reptiles! That’s right, snakes and other cold-blooded creatures exist in Alaska. But what kind of wildlife can you expect to find in the north? This article will explore the fascinating world of Alaska’s reptiles, from the species that call the state home to their habitats and behaviors. So, are there snakes in Alaska? Read on to find out!
Are There Snakes in Alaska?
Alaska is home to some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. The most common species are the brown snake (Pituophis catenifer), black snake (Pituophis melanoleucus), and garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). The venom of these snakes can be fatal, and they are aggressive. Many people have been killed by these snakes. Other species that can be dangerous include the tiger rattlesnake, copperhead, and king snake. Children should not play with any type of snake without adult supervision.
What Reptiles Live In Alaska?
- Painted Turtle – This turtle can be found in the southern part of Alaska. It eats grass and plants and can grow to about 18 inches long.
- Snowy Plover – These birds are found in Alaska but live on the Arctic tundra. They eat crabs, clams, and fish.
- Red-Spotted Newt – This salamander is found in Alaska’s streams and rivers. It is a carnivore that eats other amphibians and fish.
- Common Snapping Turtle – This turtle can live up to 100 years old and is one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America. It is known for its distinctive shell shape: it has a blunt snout with smooth lines running down its length, like a plowshare turned upside down on its back! They feed on worms, insects, small fish, and crustaceans (like crabs).
- American Alligator – This reptile can be found throughout the state. It is an omnivore that eats fish, frogs, snakes, and other reptiles. It can grow up to 14 feet long and can weigh over 800 pounds.
- Common Muskrat – These rodents are found in Alaska’s streams and rivers. They eat grasses and roots along with other invertebrates, like snails and slugs.
- White-Tailed Deer – This deer can be found throughout the state. It is a herbivore that eats grasses, berries, leaves, seeds, and small animals like mice, voles, squirrels, and birds.
- Bald Eagle – This raptor is found throughout Alaska but prefers coastal areas with large bodies of water where it can find fish to hunt. They also eat smaller birds and mammals like pikas (which they kill by battering their heads against rocks), rabbits (which they kill by drowning), fish (including salmon), and muskrats (which they capture underwater). They have a wingspan of about 6 feet and weigh about 5-11 pounds.
- Arctic Fox – This fox can be found throughout the state but is most common on the tundra. It feeds on rodents, rabbits, birds, and small mammals like voles and mice.
- Caribou – These deer are found throughout Alaska but are most common in the tundra regions of the state. They eat grasses, leaves, roots, and twigs as well as insects like grasshoppers and crickets.
Where Do Alaskan Reptiles Live?
- Brown Snake – These snakes live in many different areas of Alaska. They can be found in wetlands and forests, and they like to live in brushy areas. Some brown snakes can grow to be over 2 feet long.
- Black Snake – The black snake is also a common species in Alaska. They are often found living near streams, lakes, and marshes. They can grow to be over 4 feet long.
- Garter Snake – The garter snake is another common species of snake that lives in Alaska (and other parts of the world). One of the most interesting facts about this species is that they can go without food for several days at a time! This is probably because they eat other small animals that eat grasses and leaves.
- King Snake – The king snake is another common type of snake that lives in Alaska (and other parts of the world). They are often found living under logs, rocks, or logs at the base of trees or shrubs. The king snake is one of the most venomous snakes in North America, and it has a very powerful bite.
- Tiger Snake – The tiger snake is another common type of snake that lives in Alaska (and other parts of the world). This species can grow to be over 3 feet long. They are often found living near streams, lakes, and marshes.
- Copperhead – The copperhead is another common species of snake that lives in Alaska (and other parts of the world). They live near streams and lakes, and they like to live under rocks or logs at the base of trees or shrubs. One interesting fact about this species is that they can go without food for several days at a time!
How Are Alaskan Reptiles Adapted To Cold Climates?
- They are able to maintain their body temperature by basking in the sun.
- They are able to maintain a constant body temperature by moving around and shivering.
- They have a high metabolic rate, which keeps them warm even when they are inactive.
- They have a high concentration of blood vessels that allow them to heat up quickly when needed.
- The skin of reptiles is very thick and insulated, protecting them from cold temperatures and allowing them to stay warm in cold climates.
- Many species of reptiles have thick, insulating layers of fat under the skin, which keeps their body temperature elevated even when they do not move around much at all (like during hibernation).
- The scales on reptile skin can absorb sunlight and radiative heat from the sun’s rays, which prevents overheating in hot weather conditions as well as cold weather conditions where there is not enough sunlight for reptiles to maintain a constant body temperature (such as during winter).
- Reptiles have a high concentration of blood vessels and heat-linking organs in the skin, which help them to maintain a constant body temperature in all weather conditions.
Alaska is home to some fascinating species of reptiles. Reptiles have a number of adaptations that help them survive in Alaska’s extreme cold, including shedding their skin and burrowing underground. Many species of reptiles can be found in tundra, wetlands, and forests throughout Alaska. The most common species are the red-sided garter snake, the northern water snake, and the garter snake. Are there snakes in Alaska? You can find a number of species in many parts of the state.