Should my snake's skin feel warm to touch???? He's cold...... - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:43 AM   #1
Should my snake's skin feel warm to touch???? He's cold......

I just have a question about the temperature of my ball python's skin.....I have two small male (595g) and one big female (2400g). Their cages are prospecitively 35G and 40G and the temps are pretty much the same in each (83 deg on cool end, 91 deg on warm end). When I take the smaller male out from under his hide, he feels nice and warm to touch, almost too warm sometimes I wonder. When I take the larger female out from under her hide in the bigger tank, she is cold to touch. She is still nice and active, eating well, behaving normally. The only difference between the two snakes in behavior is that the smaller male likes to stay only under his hide on the warm end (ALL THE TIME....) and the female prefers it under her hide on the cooler side (MOST OF THE TIME.,..) My biggest question is this.....

"Is it ok that my larger female's skin feels quite cool to touch? Does this mean that she isn't warm enough?" Should she feel 85 deg on the outside? She doesn't.....also, her urine is quite cool as well (she peed on me the other day up in my bedroom while I was playing with her and it was cool, not even luke warm). I fear that she is too cold and will develop pneumonia. When I purchased her from Petland here in my home city, the cage that she was in was about 100G (quite large), and her skin was nice and warm to touch. She seems quite happy like she is now and sticks to the cool side of the tank. Sometimes she'll bask a bit, but not for long. I've tried switching her hides to see if it's a preference of hides, but she still stuck to the cool side. The funny thing, is that she feels warmer to touch once we've handled her out of the cage for a half hour or so than when we took her out. The air in the tank feels nice and warm and moist when you put your hand in. I think she's just too big and fat to keep her outer skin warm, but also, her urine is cool as well, so she's the same temp on the inside and on the out. Like I said, she's usually warmer to touch when we're done playing with her than when we started. Kind of a puzzler. She likes to be cool maybe??? Is there any way I can measure her temperature? Any thermometers that I have for humans don't go as low as the 80's. Only the low 90's and then they shut off. Any suggestions as to how I can warm her up? Or should I just leave her? I was always told to just let a dead dog lay......this may be one of those times...???.....? I am just worried about how cold she feels to the touch.
Old 10-15-2006, 04:57 AM   #2
Snakes are cold blooded animals. Unless she was right on the heat, you will normally not feel them warm. It's perfectly alright, as long as you have your temperatures right and the snake can access the hot and cold ends.

Have fun!
Old 10-15-2006, 05:05 AM   #3
First, you need to keep in mind that our body temperature is higher than the temps we keep our snakes at. Even allowing for "cold hands", a snake that is not basking is not going to feel warm. If they are much below 82 degrees, they will probably feel cool to us. Also, snakes being ectotherms do not create their own heat - urine and/or feces will come out pretty much the same temperature as them...which is pretty close to the temperature where they are. Most people don't really grasp this for some reason, as evidenced by the water temperatures they use for soaking (but they have to be shown before they believe it. Water from the tap that is 80-84 degrees will feel slightly cool, or possibly neutral...most people think of lukewarm as feeling slightly warm to the touch, which ends up being warmer than necessary)
The best way to measure your snakes temperature is with a temp gun. This is also a great way to spot check all sorts of other temps. Instant readings on heat sources, basking areas, cool spots, drinking water, soaking water, f/t prey items, substrate, incubation media, eggs, etc.

*thermal mass is an important component in attaining and retaining proper temperature. A smaller animal will warm up sooner, but will also cool off they tend to spend more time in warmer areas. Larger snakes retain heat better, and can actually end up increasing the temperature in an enclosure (I can provide an example of this if anybody is interested)
Old 10-15-2006, 06:20 PM   #4
my female bp prefers the hot side, but my male will frequently stay on the cold side even when he is full of food. He is almost never warm to the touch but he is healthy and acts normal, so there really is no reason to fix anything. My corn snake male was the same way, he was never sluggish, but was mostly cold to the touch when i took him out, some snakes like to be cooler, it reminds me of my family-my sister and mom always crank up the heat and my dad and i complain that it's too hot...
Old 10-16-2006, 03:27 AM   #5
Pink Lady Exotics
Cher, I e-mailed you late Saturday night...did you get it?
Old 10-17-2006, 12:16 PM   #6
Jen, I just emailed you this morning.....which email did you use? My telus account or my yahoo account? I'll check my yahoo....I usually use my telus account for personal things and my yahoo account for other stuff like registrations for websites. Sorry, I did not receive it! Hopefully my email this morning will address what you wrote in yours. It talks about the money order and stuff. I'll hear from you soon.

Best regards, Cher

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