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Old 05-10-12, 09:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How much cold can snakes survive?

I know that Garters can survive at 36 degrees...only slightly above freezing...and still live.
I know Wayne can attest to this!
But I also know some people have experienced snake deaths, when the power has gone out, or the snake has been missing heat for a little while. How cold and for how long?
I worry because a couple of times now, since moving the house around, some of my set-ups have been messed up. I check all the time now, but still...the one time i don't...
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Old 05-10-12, 09:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

I'm pretty sure the plains garter snake is the most cold resistant snake in the US, and I believe they can survive below freezing, but I dunno, that could be BS
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Old 05-10-12, 10:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

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Originally Posted by youngster View Post
I'm pretty sure the plains garter snake is the most cold resistant snake in the US, and I believe they can survive below freezing, but I dunno, that could be BS
Any multi cell organism will suffer cell wall ruptures when taken below freezing. So it's complete BS that any critter can be frozen solid and live.

Now on to the question, the answer will vary by species.

Obviously snakes that live in regions that have annual snow the snakes can tolerate much lower temps than say equitoral (tropical) species would.

A tropical snake can possibly fall ill if it's kept too cool for too long.

I highly recommend to anyone, get a small propane heater as backup.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

I should.
Doesn't get too cold here by the beach, but you're right, it would be cold to a tropical species.
I love my pets, but sometimes i definitely feel inadequate about keeping exotics captive.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

if you get deep enough into the earth it maintains a roughly 50F temp. Higher it gets cooler depending on the outside temp.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

I saw a doco where there's a turtle that gets frozen with ice crystals and it survives and wakes up in spring? It may have been on LCB?
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Old 05-11-12, 02:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

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Originally Posted by red ink View Post
I saw a doco where there's a turtle that gets frozen with ice crystals and it survives and wakes up in spring? It may have been on LCB?
^^^^^
i've seen a similar documentry about frogs,they froze up during winter then de frosted as spring arrived

these wee frogs were actually frozen solid,it was so unreal watching them come back to life

cheers shaun
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Old 05-11-12, 04:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

I would imagine that most of our houses would never get cold enough to kill most of the species that we keep - there may be odd exceptions of species that would die with just a few degrees drop tho - so a loss of power wouldnt be too much of an issue.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

my diamonds will take 50F for 4 months of the year

they get only a 2 to 4 hour basking spot of 90F,then no more heat for 24 hours

my other carpets imo would not remain healthy at those temps

diamonds in the wild can take extremely low temps,but they do bask during the day

cheers shaun
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Old 05-11-12, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

There are studies being done on those North American Wood Frogs as treatment/prevention for frost bite. Something in their genetic make up doesn't allow their cells to crystalize.

They really are amazing creatures!

Freezing North American Wood Frogs - YouTube
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Old 05-11-12, 12:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: How much cold can snakes survive?

In the wild North American snakes do seek underground refuge from the winter cold and the summer heat......Temps in the 50s....

In captivity and in my geographical location I must force a cold brumation on my captive colubrids for breeding purposes. They will withstand 45F to 50F temps for 4 months.....
I never tried any cooler but I had a friend of mine neurologically damage a pair of MBKs with brumation temps that dipped in the 30s......

If my electricity went off in the middle of winter I would not want a propane heater but rather a generator to run my air conditioning as our South Texas winters are rather warm....
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