Snakes and Parenting

Snake with tongue out
Sssssay what?

So. Snakes. Not everyone’s a fan. I get it. And hey, I’m not a super fan or anything, believe me. But I also have nothing against the slithering serpents.

And, actually, one of my all-time favourite animal facts is about our reptile friends. Did you know that Canada is home to the largest gathering of snakes in the world? It’s true. Every spring, tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes surface from the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba to mate. And it is quite. the. sight.

See for yourself in this National Geographic video.

Now, for the new snake fact that I recently learned. And here’s where the parenting part of this post comes in. Garter snakes—along with a few other snake species (and some sharks, fish, and insects)—are ovoviviparous. Go ahead and say that five times fast!

But seriously, what does ovoviviparous mean? Well, instead of laying eggs, a female garter snake develops and hatches the eggs inside her body. Baby snakes are then born live. Immediately after that? The newly-born snakes slither off to find food and live their best lives. Without any help at all from mom or dad.

Basically, just birth and release. See ya, kid!

This hands-off parenting style probably isn’t for everyone. But personally, I think the snakes might be on to something…