Definitions and Context
Brille: Clear, protective scales that cover eyes
Context: the snakes eyes are protected, even when it is asleep, by brille.
Brumation: A state of dormancy or extreme slowing down due to cold temperatures
Context: Snakes and other reptiles enter brumation during the winter when it is too cold to function.
Ectothermic: body temperature changes according to the air temperature
Context: Snakes are ectothermic, they use the heat of the sun to warm themselves.
Endothermic: body temperature stays stable when air temperature changes
Context: Birds and mammals can live in cold places because they are endothermic and can stay warm in spite of the cold air.
Fangs: Sharp teeth-like points used by venomous snakes to inject venom into prey
Context: Only venomous snakes have fangs.
Forked: Split on the end
Context: The snake flicks its forked tongue to smell its prey.
Pit: Special organs between eyes and nostrils on certain snakes that detect heat
Context: A pit allows the snake to find warm-blooded animals such as small mammals and birds in the dark.
Poisonous: would make you sick if you ate it
Context: Monarch butterflies are poisonous; birds that eat them get sick.
Predator: an animal that kills and eats other animals
Context: Snakes are helpful because as predators they are responsible for controlling mouse and rat populations.
Scales: Small, flat pieces that overlap making up a snake's dry protective covering
Context: Snakes scales, like fish scales are for protection.
Scutes: Thick, large scales on the snake's belly.
Context: Scutes help the snake climb steep surfaces.
Venomous: can bite or sting and inject a harmful toxin
Context: The bite of a venomous snake is very painful.