Wondering if corn snakes have teeth or fangs? This guide is for you!
Corn snakes are non-venomous snakes that are much favored for their friendly disposition.
The Corn snake has about 25 teeth – sometimes as many as 30. The upper part of the Corn Snake’s jaw has about 18 – 20 teeth, while the lower jaw has about 10-12. Generally, the upper part of the mouth has twice the number of teeth than the lower part.
The teeth on the upper jaw are arranged into 4 rows, while the lower jaw has 2 rows. Because of these many teeth, Corn Snakes have an excellent grip on their prey.
The teeth are jagged and designed to stop the prey from struggling free from the Snake’s mouth. This is a necessary adaptation, considering that the Corn Snake swallows its prey whole.
Do Corn Snakes Have Teeth or Fangs?
Corn Snakes have about 20 to 30 teeth – not fangs. These teeth, though tiny, are evenly spaced and designed to hold the prey in place as the Snake swallows.
Corn Snakes have teeth instead of fangs because they are non-venomous; they don’t need fangs to inject venom into the prey.
The Snake’s upper and lower teeth are perfectly angled to hold the prey in place. But, at the same time, powerful muscle movements push it in.
Although the Corn Snake’s teeth are well-designed for holding the prey in place, they are brittle. As a result, they break a lot with repeated use.
Fortunately, this reptile can grow new teeth to replace the lost ones. As such, you should not worry about having an utterly toothless pet snake in your home!
What Do Corn Snake Teeth Look Like?
Corns Snakes’ teeth are thin, small, and sharp. They look like the row of teeth on a wood saw.
These teeth are angled backward to hold the prey firmly in place and allow the Snake to swallow effectively.
The Corn Snake uses its teeth to bite into the prey. These teeth do not chew; they hold firmly onto the prey as the muscles work to push it deeper into the throat.
Also, this Snake uses its teeth to capture the prey before constricting it. Fortunately, the teeth are complex enough to hold fast to the prey.
Because of their small size, you may not be able to see the teeth of this reptile unless you move up close and personal.
Of course, be careful about this because this Snake dislikes being mishandled.
Why Are Corn Snake Teeth Angled Backwards?
The teeth of a Corn Snake are angled backward. They are also jagged to ensure the prey does not come out of the mouth while the Snake swallows it.
As the Snake keeps contracting its muscles to push the prey in, the teeth sink deeper and deeper into the prey.
This makes the Snake’s work easier.
Because of this reptile’s unique shape and design, be careful should it bite you. Avoid yanking your hand out of the Snake’s mouth, as this will likely make things worse for you.
Instead, hold the Snake closer to your hand until it releases itself.
How Do Corn Snake’s Teeth Trap the Prey?
Corn Snake teeth have two main functions. One, they help the snake capture the prey during the hunting process.
Two, the teeth hold the prey in place as the Snake swallows it. The more the prey struggles to free itself, the deeper the 30 teeth sink in.
The lower and upper teeth of this reptile work in tandem. This allows the Snake to employ its massive muscles to push the prey deeper into the belly.
But, this should not worry you if you get bitten by this Snake. The teeth of a Corn Snake are not big or strong enough to do much damage to human skin.
Actually, baby Corn Snakes cannot do any damage to your skin. Adult corn snakes leave only a tiny scratch.
How Aggressive Are Corn Snakes?
Corn Snakes are known for their friendly natures and docile demeanors. This makes them a suitable choice of pet for beginner keepers.
You can be sure that this reptile will not cause unnecessary drama at your home. As well as you feed it and take good care of it, you won’t have anything to worry about the Corn Snake.
Adults are more friendly than babies and juveniles. Likely, it is because the young ones have not fully appreciated their place that they are somewhat aggressive.
Corn Snakes can be nervous and irritable when caught off-guard. This is your cue not to mishandle these snakes.
At the same time, try to stick to a predictable routine. This will make getting used to you and the things in the enclosure easier.
The Corn Snake may get a bit nervous during meal times. This tells you not to get too close until feeding time is over.
Of course, you still have to monitor your pet snake closely to check for any feeding abnormalities.
However, there’s nothing to be overly concerned about the Corn Snake’s aggressiveness. Whether in the wild or at your home, this Snake has great respect for humans and other big animals.
The Corn Snake poses no real threat at only 6ft in length and 4 pounds in weight.
Are Corn Snakes Poisonous?
Corn Snakes belong to the family of snakes known as Colubridae, which comprises non-venomous species.
Additionally, Corn Snakes are not poisonous. They are non-venomous and non-poisonous.
What’s the Difference Between Venom and Poison?
Although most people refer to venom and poison as one and the same, the two terms mean different things.
Venom must be injected from one animal into another. As such, the injecting animal should be equipped with a mechanism to inject.
Venomous snakes use fangs to do this. This means snakes without fangs, such as the Corn Snake, cannot inject venom.
On the other hand, poison is housed within the animal’s body. This toxin is secreted through the skin and only affects the animals it comes into contact with.
In this context, we can look at the differences between venom and poison from two angles. One, venom is injected to kill or paralyze prey. It is more of an offensive mechanism than a defensive one.
Two, poison is secreted by the body and is primarily a defensive mechanism. If another animal touches or bites the poison-secreting animal, it may fall sick or die.
Both venom and poison are neurotoxins capable of paralyzing or killing.
A good number of snakes are venomous, while few are poisonous. It is rare to find snakes that are both venomous and poisonous.
Corn Snakes are neither venomous nor poisonous.
Can My Pet Corn Snake Kill a House Cat?
Corn Snakes are relatively harmless creatures. They prefer to run away from any form of a threat than confront it.
Your cat will likely scare your new Corn Snake into hiding. As such, you should keep these animals away from each other until the cat recognizes the Snake as part of the family.
Even so, Corn Snakes should be shielded from kittens as the baby snakes tend to be aggressively playful.
Although the kittens may not mean to harm the Snake, they may be too rough for the Snake, which could result in stress for the reptile.
Corn Snakes cannot harm your cat because they don’t have venom. Actually, this species of Snake does not kill by biting.
They constrict prey and keep squeezing tightly until it suffocates. Then, they swallow the animal whole.
Your cat may be too big for the Corn Snake to attempt this feat. So instead, this reptile is happy running after the smaller but more manageable rodents.
Corn Snakes instinctively know they cannot successfully hunt and constrict cats because of their size. However, if your pet snake is ravenous, it may have a go at a kitten.
Whether the Snake will successfully kill the kitten is a different matter altogether. However, to avoid the ruckus and stress the two are likely to cause, you should keep them separate.
You wouldn’t want your pets fighting off each other all the time. But, of course, this is not the intention of bringing them to your home in the first place.
You may have to protect your Corn Snake from an overly ambitious adult cat. Some cats are known to take down big frogs, rats, mice, birds, and lizards.
If this kind of cat were to have a go at the Snake, the reptile might not stand a chance.
How Can I Prevent Corn Snake Bites?
Corn Snakes are friendly, especially when they get used to you. Therefore, they can be classified as one of the least likely species to bite humans.
This is more so because a bite from this reptile would not cause much damage to the human skin.
All the same, Corn Snakes can bite – because all snakes do bite, one way or another. This means you should have it on your list to train your Snake not to bite you.
Corn Snakes bite animals they perceive as prey or threat. Obviously, you are too big to be this Snake’s dinner.
Your effort should concentrate on making this reptile see you as a friend, not a foe.
Wild Corn Snakes will not recognize you as a friend because they have not been conditioned to do so. This means you should avoid handling these snakes until they are properly acclimated.
Also, avoid catching your Corn Snake by surprise. These reptiles will not appreciate sudden movements from you.
They will appreciate much less if you are noisy as this spells danger to them.
You’d want to be more cautious of baby and juvenile Corn Snakes because they are more unpredictable than adults.
If you bring an untamed snake to your home for the first time, handle it with leather gloves. This will protect you against bites should this snake mistake your finger for its favorite snack.
Avoid mishandling all snakes. This means you should not shake, squeeze, or drop your Corn Snake.
Also, avoid handling it immediately after a meal as it needs this time to align the food it has swallowed.
Corn Snake Biting FAQs
Do Corn Snakes Bite?
Corn Snakes do bite – but the bite is more of a prick than a real bite. Therefore, you are more likely to be shocked by the fact that this Snake has bitten you instead of the actual pain bite.
A bite from this skin is likely shallow and portends no real threat to your health.
Most people report it as a graze and quickly heals after taking the necessary precautions for such small wounds.
Can a Corn Snake Bite Inject Poison?
To inject their prey, venomous snakes need fangs. However, since Corn Snakes have teeth and not fangs, their bite cannot inject poison.
Their bite feels more or less like a prick, and is not at all venomous.
How Does a Corn Snake Kill Prey?
Corn Snakes are constrictors – they kill prey by wrapping their lithe and muscular bodies around their food.
Once the prey is dead or incapacitated, the Snake swallows it whole. The neatly arranged teeth come in handy because they keep pushing the prey deeper into the Snake’s body.
Once the prey has been gripped by the Snake’s teeth, it has no chance of coming out. So instead, the Snake uses its powerful muscle contractions to push the prey deeper and deeper down the throat.
With this technique, the Corn Snake is able to handle any small rodents that cross its path.
Can a Corn Snake Bite Its Owner?
Corns Snakes are shy and friendly when dealing with humans. Actually, even wild Corn Snakes are not known for being overly aggressive when they come into contact with humans.
When handling a huge adversary like a human being, Corn Snakes will either freeze or flee as a defense mechanism.
However, you should be alive to the fact that all snakes – venomous and non-venomous – can bite.
Don’t be deluded by the timid, humble, and friendly nature of this Snake that it is completely harmless.
Be on the lookout when trying to acclimate your new Corn Snake. In particular, be watchful around the babies and juveniles as they sometimes behave erratically.
At the same time, avoid handling your Snake too roughly, as this may trigger it to behave unpredictably.
You should also consider that your Corn Snake does not like to be caught by surprise.
Is a Corn Snake Bite Painful?
A good number of keepers agree that a Corn Snake Bite is not painful. Instead, it feels like a sharp prick or a small paper cut.
Although this Snake’s teeth are sharp, they are small and thin, not likely to impose any real damage. Also, the human skin is strong enough to withstand a bite from this Snake.
A Corn Snake bite is more likely to surprise you than hurt you. Since Corn Snakes are constrictors, their teeth are not as developed as to cause much damage.
Also, this species of snake doesn’t have venom and, therefore, does not need fangs.
There’s no reason you should be scared of these teeth. They are better suited to grab and hold on to small rodents as opposed to biting into human skin.
Although the wound inflicted on your skin by this Snake is likely to be superficial, you need to have it taken care of.
Bites from animals need to be treated properly because they are likely to spread disease. In addition, you should be concerned if the affected area starts to well or change color.
Can a Corn Snake Bite Turn Fatal?
There’s nothing much to worry about regarding a Corn Snakebite. Because this Snake does not have venom, its bite is not likely to be fatal.
Also, its teeth are small and brittle. This means they cannot cause much damage even when they bot you.
It’s more likely that the Corn Snake will flee from you than bite you. However, this is not to say it can never bite.
Carefully remove the teeth in case they get broken in you. Unfortunately, this occurrence is not out of the question, considering Corn Snake’s teeth are brittle.
How Can I Avoid a Corn Snake Bite?
The Corn Snake doesn’t like to be caught by surprise. So ensure your movements are deliberate and predictable when around this reptile.
Also, handle this Snake properly. Although this Snake comes across as one of the most friendly and good-natured reptiles, it dislikes rough treatment.
Be as gentle as you can when socializing with the Corn Snake.
How Should I Treat a Corn Snake Bite?
Although Corn Snakes bites are not likely to turn fatal, you should observe proper hygiene and tend to the wound.
This is because animal bites – no matter how timid – often spread bacteria and other pathogens.
Treat a Corn Snake Bite as you wound any other superficial wound. Douse the injured area with an antiseptic and apply a temporary bandage.
Also, if the bite draws blood, treat the wound for bacterial infection. However, no matter what you do, don’t panic.
Wild and tamed Corn Snakes have nothing against humans. As such, there’s nothing to worry about the choice of keeping this reptile.
Also, this Snake has small, brittle teeth that pose no real threat to human skin. Because this reptile is non-venomous, it has no use for fangs.
The Corn Snake has about 20 – 30 teeth to hold prey.