Watch out for 'zombie snakes' playing dead

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019
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Certain snakes defend themselves by playing dead

Parks and recreation officials have issued a warning about a so-called "zombie snake" that tends to "play dead."

The North Carolina State Parks and Recreation shared images of the eastern hognose snake on its Facebook page, warning residents to stay alert if they happen to come across the creature. The post says it defends itself by lying on its back and pretending to be dead.

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It racked up dozens of reactions and comments from residents, including a few who said they'd never heard of a snake with such bizarre survival techniques.

The reptiles vary in color, but the most common ones are usually brown or gray with dark brown blotches. It isn't venomous, but they tend to display cobra-like qualities, according to Amphibian and Reptiles of North Carolina.

RELATED: Cobra-like snake spotted at Brazos Bend State Park

The hognose, which can grow up to about four feet in length, is found throughout the eastern parts of the country, from Florida and Texas to Minnesota, according to the Florida Museum.

Don't listen to those urban myths about its "deadly breath."

"In truth, its breath is harmless," the museum said in a statement.

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