Why do snakes eat themselves?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Why do snakes eat themselves?” and the information on snakes that eat themselves.

Why do snakes eat themselves?

The scientific community is no closer to understanding why snakes can eat themselves, even though this is a very unusual occurrence.

Some plausible causes are:

Issues with Temperature Regulation

Snakes are unable to regulate their body temperature because they are cold-blooded reptiles and hence eat themselves.


If a snake is unable to cool itself down, it may overheat, which can lead to hypermetabolism. If a snake is in this predicament, its body will believe it is hungry even though it is not, and it will likely swallow everything it can find.

Snakes with a hypermetabolic condition may seek and consume prey that they would ordinarily leave alone or hunt even when they are not hungry. When placed in this position, it runs the risk of mistaking its tail for prey and eating it.

A snake may consume its tail as a result of its hypermetabolism paired with the perplexing effects of being unable to cool itself. This is because the snake has an insatiable hunger and a confused mentality.


When under extreme pressure, snakes that suffer from psychological illnesses may consume themselves.

A small tank, loud noises, bright lighting, frequent handling, an inconsistent feeding schedule, a hot or dirty tank, and other factors can all cause stress in snakes. When under extreme pressure, snakes may consume themselves.


The snake might also be malnourished, which is a different issue. When you deprive yourself of food, you are more likely to make poor choices and experience irritability. A snake that is hungry and bewildered could misidentify its tail as something to eat.


When they lose their skins, snakes will sometimes eat themselves in the process. Shedding results in a momentary impairment of vision. They have been known to devour their tails when they are hungry.


When confined to limited space, a snake could mistake its tail for prey or an adversary. It is simple to understand how factors such as impaired vision, increased metabolism, emotional strain, or hunger could exacerbate this behavior.


Snakes are carnivorous animals that have a powerful instinct to hunt. Their desire to hunt is much reduced when they are kept in tanks and fed, but it is never eliminated.

In an environment that causes it to be disoriented or agitated, the snake may become aware of its tail and mistake it for prey, then proceed to attack it.

Some types of snakes have a higher propensity to consume their kind, and the fact that these snakes typically hunt other snakes in the wild lends credence to this theory. Rat snakes, kingsnakes, garter snakes, and ribbon snakes are hazardous.

Illness/Old Age

Snakes that are elderly or suffer from chronic illnesses are more likely to bite themselves. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, this behavior is more likely to be seen in older snakes.

Which snakes usually eat themselves?

Snakes kept as pets are more likely to consume their bodies than wild snakes.

No species appears to be more likely than others to consume its kind. This behavior may be exhibited by any pet snake that is kept in inadequate conditions.

This can be avoided to some degree by ensuring that the temperature in your snake’s enclosure is maintained at the appropriate level and by avoiding any stressful situations.

Can I Stop My Snake From Ever Eating Its Tail? 

Learn as much as you can about the snake you already have or want to prevent falling victim to this tendency. Take into account the following: What is the optimal temperature for a snake? How big is the enclosure for the snake? What does my snake consume? When should I give my snake its food? What kind of food should I give my snake? Does it get along with other animals?

What should I do if my snake consumes itself?

The sound of a pet snake munching on its tail could be unsettling. The tail can become embedded in the digestive secretions, which would be fatal. If the tail of your snake is caught inside its mouth, you have a serious problem.

If you are present when it begins biting its tail, make sure that its teeth are not embedded in the animal’s flesh, and then carefully remove the tail from its mouth. By separating their head and their tail, several different species of snakes can be captured. The operation will not be successful with dogs who have moveable jaws. You may need to give it multiple taps on the nose before you can remove its tail.

If you are unable to remove the snake’s tail, you should seek immediate assistance from an emergency veterinarian. It is important to bring the pet to a hospital as soon as possible, but finding a veterinarian who specializes in treating snakes is preferable.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Why do snakes eat themselves?” and the information on snakes that eat themselves.


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