Snake Badge


Snakes are reptiles and share the same scaley skin like lizards and turtles. Snakes are cold-blooded, which means they don't use their own energy to warm themselves or maintain their body temperature. Snakes will bask in the sun to increase and control their body temperature, and hibernate in the colder months. Snakes are carnivorous and eat insects, rodents, birds, eggs, fish, frogs, lizards and small mammals. They don't chew their food like most animals but have flexible jaws that allow them to eat their prey whole. Snakes have no arms or legs and depend on very muscular bodies to move across land, water, and to climb trees. There are about 3,600 different species of snakes around the world.

Snake Fun Fact

The smallest snakes in the world are Brahminy blind snakes which can be as short as 2 ½ inches long. They are often mistaken for earthworms. The largest snake in the world is the Green Anaconda which can grow up to 29 feet long and weigh up to 500 pounds!

More Snake Tips

Snake Challenge

Our bonus badges are designed to be completed at each participant's own pace. There is no deadline. When you have completed all of the requirements you will earn your badge at one of our Season Summits or we can mail you your badge.

To earn your badge complete these four requirements:

  1. Submit photo observations of six snakes representing a minimum of three species to ecoexplore.net
  2. Attend a Year of the Snake program at any NC State Park OR create an account at HerpMapper and upload an observation
  3. View the video of Herpetology Mentor, Landon Ward.
  4. Choose one snake you observed and draw, paint or sketch it. Then, choose another snake in the same region that may look similar and make a second picture of that one. Show how you can tell these two snakes apart.

Please take a photo or screen of each completed requirement and email it to ecoexplore@ncarboretum.org

Landon Ward, University of North Carolina, Asheville

Landon Ward works in the Environmental Studies department at UNC Asheville, where he has taught since 2010. His course offerings include conservation biology, tropical ecosystems, and herpetology. His current research interests include studying invasive boa constrictors on the US Virgin Island of Saint Croix and studying vernal pool salamanders in western North Carolina. Mr. Ward’s favorite course to teach is field herpetology, where he takes students on a 2 week camping trip to search for herpfauna from the coast of North Carolina all the way to the Florida Keys. Student learn about the diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the eastern US and learn about the conserving them.


Aside from his teaching duties at UNC Asheville, Mr. Ward also maintains and captive-breeds a large collection of reptiles. He often uses reptiles from his collection for teaching and outreach. He enjoys traveling to local schools with snakes and other reptiles to educate students about reptile adaptations and the ecological roles that reptiles and amphibians play.