Why snakes eat themselves

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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.
Anonymous:
well i don't think your answer is right.
I was watching a video "Snake eating it's self" and that snake was in water. so that means it is already cooled down.
And even though in the cage there was enough temperature for the snake and the habitat was as good as it can get.
but why would it eat it's sel?. So i think your answer is invalid. But it could be right.
Anonymous:
I have a corn snake who is 6 yrs old this is the 1st time i noticed her eating herself i believe it was because she wad to hot as i put the wrong light in het tant after we moved home, so we put a block of ice in herr water bowl then she simmered down within minutes. Was this a bad move ?
Anonymous:
Oh no, he's right. The water in that video is likely the same temperature as the cage, so it doesn't cool the snake off at all. You need to spray the snake with cool water and remove the heat lamp for a bit.
Anonymous:
The answer is right that snake has already eaten a good amount of its self and wasn't able to release it's self even tho it was in water which does help if you catch the snake early enough to stop it but we don't know how long that particular snake was eating its self so that's an invalid answer .... It's best to keep a heating pad or black light I had both on one side of the tank and keep water their water on the cooler side so if the snake gets hot it can just go on the cooler side with the cool water to cool off and when they cool they will go back to the other side it's a back and forth process ... Me I keep the heating pad on all the time and when it's the coolest which it at night I turn the light on sometimes I leave it on during the day depending on how cold it is outside (my snake tank by the window) so even when she's on the hot side some coolness from the window makes it kind of warm .... you have to keep an eye on them I let mines out and sometimes take her with me places to prevent this from happening I'm glad I haven't experience that and hope not shes a doll and I will hate to see anything happen to her.
Anonymous:
Thanks for this answer. After a big shed, my corn snake started behaving oddly, becoming very agitated (Now, my snake is already on the mentally-challenged end of the intelligence spectrum, so this wasn't super shocking). Then he started moving around and around, like he was chasing his own tail, around and around in circles. He was clearly very disoriented and confused, and tried to take a bite out of his side (unsuccessful, thankfully he is very uncoordinated).

I realized that I had left me room heater on all day, with the windows closed, and my room had gotten hotter than usual. With the exertion of shedding, plus a very hot room, I think he did overheat and become disoriented. After reading this post, I immediately put a big tupperware (much larger than his water dish) of cold water in his tank, and drizzled it all over his head and body. I dripped it on the rocks and walls of the tank to try to lower the temperature too. Once he had calmed down enough for me to safely pick him up, I stuck him in the tupperware for a while. He was very thirsty, and hung out there for a bit.

He's since cooled down (pun intended Emotion: wink ) and hopefully he'll be doing well.
Anonymous:
Wow! You feed him once a week? Why? What is wrong with you? It is living organism. It needs food cells to survive.
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