When you’re hiking, it’s always a good idea to wear boots that cover your ankles, as well as long pants. Both of these will help protect you if you unexpectedly come upon a snake ready to strike. Snakes can appear seemingly out of nowhere, under bushes, behind rocks, or even slithering across your trail.

But as you read your newest issue of Zoobooks, Snakes, you’ll find that snakes can be encountered in far more places than you might at first think. In some places in the world, you might even need to look up into the trees. The paradise flying snake and its relatives have the ability to propel themselves from the tops of the highest trees and flatten out their bodies to glide from tree to tree in pursuit of tree-dwelling lizards. They are rear-fanged snakes and use their mild venom to halt their prey.

There are also snakes that swim in rivers or the ocean as easily as fish. The bodies of sea snakes are less rounded than those of land snakes. Some of them have paddle-shaped tails. They can swim much faster than a human.

Of the 3,000 or so snake species in the world, only about 400 are venomous. Of those, only about 50 are really dangerous to people. It’s important, though, to keep a healthy respect for snakes, who can deliver a bite even when they don’t have venom. Be sure to dress protectively on your next hike!

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