Have you ever wondered whether snakes have periods? Like us humans, snakes are also vertebrates and belong to the animal kingdom.
However, unlike us, they don’t menstruate. They do not go through the monthly process of shedding their uterine lining when pregnancy does not occur.
To understand why this is so, it is essential to first understand menstruation itself.
The menstrual period is a regular part of every woman’s life from puberty until menopause (the time in her life when she can no longer get pregnant).
During each menstrual period, the uterus sheds its lining (called the endometrium), and a woman bleeds from her vagina for 3–7 days (called “having your period” or menstruating).
This cycle usually repeats itself approximately every 28 days.
Do snakes have a menstrual period?
With all of the different types of reptiles in existence, you may be wondering whether snakes are among those that menstruate. This is an understandable question, given the snake’s intimate association with the female reproductive cycle.
The answer, though, might surprise you—no, snakes do not have a menstrual period.
What gives? The fact of the matter is that snakes do not ovulate on a regular monthly or seasonal cycle like humans and most other mammals do; instead, they remain fertile and capable of mating year-round.
Therefore, there is no need for them to release any blood or other fluids from their bodies on a regular basis. Additionally, most species of snake lay eggs rather than give birth.
How do snakes reproduce?
Snakes are reptiles. Snakes don’t have a menstrual period because they don’t have a uterus or vagina.
They also have internal fertilization, and the females lay eggs.
The female snake does lay eggs, but she doesn’t get her period first.
Unlike humans, snakes do not bleed every month as part of their cycle.
There are two types of snakes:
1. Viviparous snakes
Viviparous snakes are the most common type of snake.
All viviparous species are egg layers, but some of them have live births. This means that instead of laying eggs, they give birth to live young.
Viviparity is a type of reproduction where the offspring develops inside the body of the mother, which allows direct development without a larval stage.
The length of gestation varies greatly among species, but it can last anywhere from 35 days to two years depending on the species and habitat.
2. Oviparous snakes
Most snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. The eggs then incubate in the ground or a hollowed-out place until they hatch.
The length of incubation depends on the species and the temperature of their environment.
Some species lay eggs that take years to hatch, while other species lay eggs that take months to hatch.
How do snake eggs develop inside the mother snake?
The fertilization of the female snake is complicated because the male snake’s reproductive organs transfer to the female by inserting their hemipenes in her cloaca during sex.
As a result, it is possible for a single mating session to result in multiple females being impregnated by one male.
Fertilized eggs begin to develop immediately after they are deposited inside the mother’s oviduct.
Most snakes retain their eggs until they are ready to hatch; this process usually takes only a few months, depending on the species and environment.
The nonvenomous snakes do not incubate their eggs while venomous snakes leave them unattended after burying them under sand or soil.