Wednesday, June 27

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Why there are no snakes in Ireland!

by Staff writer



According to legend, St. Patrick used the power of God to drive all of Ireland’s snakes into the sea.


It’s an impressive religious story, but there’s no way this could have happened.


There are no snakes in Ireland, partly for the same reason that there are no snakes in Hawaii, Iceland, New Zealand, Greenland, or Antarctica: The Ice Age!


Once upon a time, Ireland was connected to a larger landmass. But that time was an ice age that kept the land far too chilly for cold-blooded reptiles.

As the ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, glaciers melted, pouring even more cold water into the now-impassable expanse between Ireland and its neighbors.

Other animals, like wild boars, lynx, and brown bears, managed to make it across—as did a single reptile: the common lizard.

Snakes, however, as slithering limbless creatures, missed their chance.

The country’s serpent-free reputation has, somewhat perversely, turned snake ownership into a status symbol.

There have been numerous reports of large pet snakes escaping or being released. As of yet, no species has managed to take hold in the wild—a small miracle in itself.

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