Why snakes eat themselves

This is a discussion thread · 2 replies
Anonymous:
I have a kingsnake that has this odd habit: he'll literally try to eat his tail!! He bites it and holds on for ages sometimes trying to chew down on himself. I'm grossed out! This is my first snake. I've had him for a month and he's done this weird thing twice already. What's going on? I feed him once a week so it shouldn't be because of hunger!
Anonymous:
Kingsnakes in the wild eat other snakes regularly. I've heard of kings who are kept in cages that are too small who run into their own tail and convinced it's another snake try to eat it. This often requires surgery to fix. Getting him a bigger cage should help, as he'll have more room to stretch out and won't feel so cramped. The snake should be no longer than the length + width of the cage but bigger is better.
Anonymous:
It is a rather simple reason, actually, but a belated answer...
Often, snakes will try doing that when they are too hot and cannot cool themselves down. Since they are cold-blooded, their temperature depends on their surroundings, and a "hot" snake may experience a fake hunger feeling. when it cannot cool itslef down, it may well try to eat the next best thing: itself. Spraying it very generously with water and reducign the temperatures in its habitat might easily solve the issue.