Afrotyphlops schlegelii, commonly known as Schlegel’s beaked blind snake or Schlegel’s giant blind snake, is a species of snake in the family Typhlopidae. The species is endemic to eastern and southern Africa, and bears the distinction of being the world’s largest typhlopid. It is harmless to humans and lives exclusively on a diet of termites.

Source: WikiPedia

We usually tell someone they are as blind as a bat, but why do we only use bats as illustrations to describe how blind we are? There are a lot of other creatures out there that are just as blind or even blinder than bats, but they never get credit for their way of navigating the world!

Living close to a nature reserve without borders can bring excitement almost every day…

We live next to the Isimangaliso wet lands park a world recognized heritage site, but occasionally there might be a few strays that stray outside the protection of the park, such as – the occasional hippo, monkeys, monitor lizards, mongoose and of course snakes wandering out of its borders.

You wake up in the morning wondering what excitement the day will bring in your own yard… No need to go to a nature reserve to find some fun, exciting things, they decide to come to us… Although sometimes I wonder how the larger creatures such as monitor lizards and tortoises manage to get into our yard through a tight fence…

We have encountered a few snake species around our yard and even in our house before, to name a few snake species – the brown house snake, an Eastern Green snake falling on our Tv and than later found on a nearby tree next to our house, a East African Shovel snout snake tryna hide away in our door post (We thought it might’ve been a Stiletto snake), these are just to name a few…

Our latest snake find is the Schlegel’s beaked blind snake… It has a weird crown on its head, black and white spotted with a white belly and it is hard to tell it’s head from its tail, as we discovered this morning while it couldn’t stop wriggling…

Apparently it is a really rare find as they usually stay under ground… I wonder what this one was doing above ground? It tried to burrow a hole to get away from us, but we know better than to just leave an unknown snake close to our house, especially not knowing of it’s venomous or not…

So far we have been lucky enough only to find non-venomous snakes, but still stay cautious… Although all the snakes mentioned above are non-venomous they still have teeth and mouths big enough to bite if feeling threatened…

Our family freak out every time we show them a new snake… Some find it fascinating and exciting, whilst others vow never to come visit while there are snakes around… It is really funny seeing different peoples reactions to snakes…

A few fun facts about these tiny snakes:

  • They only grow up to 60 – 70 cm or maximum of 95 cm… So maybe up to a school ruler and a half… That is really not big for a snake…
  • These snakes live solely on termites and their larvae and are no threat to humans…
  • Now I know why the snake was above ground… These Snakes often emerge above ground after heavy rains… I guess their houses might be flooded underneath the ground or they chasing after the termites that have now started making new nests?
  • These snakes have no idea when to stop eating – well that is my opinion… Ever heard of an obese wild snake?! I have never heard of any wild animal living in the wild ever been obese till now… Schlegel’s beaked blind snakes are as blind in sight as they are in their appetite… These snakes often over eat themselves – who knew termites could be so fattening…. I get why there tails are so fat and not pointy like almost every other snake out there!
  • These obese snakes are awesome snacks for predators such as birds of prey and other carnivorous snakes – more like cannibal snakes!
  • I think these snakes are blind for a reason… They live most of their lives underground and have very little use for their sight… They have scales that cover their eyes, so they are not completely blind, but don’t see well at all either… Sort of like a mole…
  • The Schlegel’s beaked blind snakes are the largest snake in their family… Makes you wonder how small can snakes be before been classified as worms?

Our factual sources for this article came from: WikiPedia and Snake Bite institute

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