Do Snakes Have Belly Button? Very Fewer People Know This

belly button of snake
belly button of snake

Do you ever found a little scar on the bottom of your pet snake that looks likes a belly button? Especially if your snake is young it is clearly visible on the bottom of their belly. But do snakes really have belly buttons?. After a little digging, here is what I found.

Do snakes have belly buttons? Snakes are born with a belly button. When the snakes are in gestation they develop an umbilical cord that connects their body with the yolk sac. Once developed the cord detaches from their body and forms a belly button on their lower abdomen.

However, the scar doesn’t look like a belly button, as it is just a small slit at the lower end of the body.

But technically it is a belly button as it serves a similar purpose. The body of the snakes gets all the necessary nutrients from the yolk sac with the help of an umbilical cord connected to the belly button. 

This belly button is clearly visible when the snakes are young as the scales on their body haven’t hardened enough.

But after their first shedding, the belly button becomes less visible and faints as they become adults. 

This was a heck of information, As most people have never heard of a snake having a belly button.

And always get worried when they find the belly button and think of it as a wound or cut. The same thing happened to me when I saw the belly button of my first ball python.

But this leads to another question. Do all snakes have belly buttons, what about snakes that are born live, do they also have belly buttons. While Scratching for the right information here is what I learned.

Do all snakes have a belly button?

All species of the snakes are born with a belly button. Either if they are born live or hatched from an egg, their body is attached to an individual yolk sack with the help of an umbilical cord internalized to their body cavity forming a belly button.

As when the snakes are in the form of an embryo they need necessary supplements for development.

These supplements are channeled to their body with the help of a membrane similar to an umbilical cord which connects the yolk sac to the lower abdomen of their body.

The junction between the umbilical cord and fetus turns into a belly button once the cord detaches from their body.

This umbilical cord plays an important role in the development of an embryo. Every snake irrelevant to habitat,  species, how they breed, and method of birth, could be found with a belly button.  

How to Identify the belly button on snakes?

While the belly button of snakes doesn’t look like ours. It is easy to find if you know where to see, and how a belly button of a snake looks like.

The belly button of snakes is located on their lower abdomen.

Once the snake pulls all the yolk from the sac the muscle present around the belly button crimps the umbilical cord and seals the opening.

This creates a small slit-like scare that is formed after the detachment of the umbilical cord. It looks like a discrete pattern of scale on the lower end of their belly.

When the snake is young the belly button could be easily seen as the body is covered with soft scales and the belly button is wide open.

But as the snake grows and starting to shed the opening of the belly button shrinks and disperse in the hardened scales. 

Do snakes have umbilical cords?

All Snake species develop an umbilical cord when they are an embryo. This umbilical cord attaches the embryo and the umbilical vesical(yolk sac) and helps in the supplement of nutrients and the exchange of gases.

Whether the snake is born through an egg or has been given live birth, they can be found with an umbilical cord.

In a clutch of eggs, every embryo is attached to an individual yolk sac with the help of an umbilical cord. The same structure has evolved in snakes that give live birth.  

This umbilical cord plays an important role in providing the yolk made of protein to the fetus as the source of supplement to carry out the essential metabolic activity.

Once the snake hatch from the egg or get live birth the umbilical cord detaches from the body and leaves a scar that can technically be said a belly button.

However, sometimes the snake infant make gets into some medical condition while hatching. This can cause severe issues So you must know what to do if you get in such a situation.

Caring for snakes after Hatching.

umbilical cord of snake
umbilical cord of snake

While most of the snakes are born completely fine. There can be some cases where due to premature birth the snakes haven’t detached from the yolk sac, or the belly button doesn’t get sealed. This can lead to an unhealthy condition of the snake.

As the umbilical cord is attached to a critical vein that supplies nutrients to all body parts. If not crimped properly it can pull out the internal organs of the snake and result in death.

Other than this if the belly button of the snake is not sealed and the hole is wide open it can cause a hernia. This opening of the belly button can also lead to a pathway for internal infection.

 In both these cases, it is a better option to seek the help of a vet. And avoid too much handling of the snake. If the hole is not too big then you must wait for some days.

And provide the offspring with a soft and dry substrate and the belly button will seal after some time.

Related Question

Do ball pythons have a belly button?

All the snake species including ball pythons are born with a belly button located on their lower abdomen. This belly button act as an entry point for the umbilical cord to supply the necessary nutrients to the fetus.