The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Snake
By Li Yujun

The Snake is the sixth zodiac animal. In Chinese myth, the snake has a similar look with the dragon but it's smaller, so many people believe that the snake is the dragon living in nature. 

The snake is associated with the Earthly Branch sì (巳), and 9 to 11 in the morning. 

The snake is usually thought to be negative in Chinese culture. It is described as insidious, greedy, and cunning. However, Nǚ Wā (女娲), the creator of the world in Chinese mythology, has a human's head and a snake's body. 

In nature, there are more than 3,000 species of snakes. They are almost everywhere except in Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand. They are cold-blooded and covered in scales. Here are three fun facts about snakes.

1. Most snakes are oviparous but some give birth to live snakes. These snakes develop inside eggs and are born live. Snakes that are ovoviviparous include copperheads, rattlesnakes, garter snakes, boas, and water snakes.

2. Snakes have flexible jaws so they can eat animals much bigger than their heads.

3. Sometimes snakes have more than one head. This is called polycephaly. The heads of the snake might fight each other for food.

The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

The Chinese zodiacs are based on a 12-year cycle, with each year related to an animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

But how much do you know about these animals and their symbolic meanings in Chinese zodiac? Follow the series to find out.

For more: 

The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Ox

The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Tiger

The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Rabbit

The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Dragon

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