Snakes are often misunderstood. This may be due to human fear or the way snakes have been portrayed throughout history. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that there are a lot of misconceptions about snakes.

Here’s a look at some myths about snakes that have been debunked.

They Don’t Have Maternal Instincts
You’ve probably heard snakes aren’t exactly maternal animals. The female lays her eggs and slithers away or snakes that are born alive head off on their own. While many species of snake don’t care for their young (snakes are mostly self-sufficient when born), a recent discovery showed one species does have a maternal instinct. The African rock python, which resides in central Africa, has been studied protecting their egg clutches and keeping their young close by for the first few months. It might not be common, but there are maternal snakes.

Snakes Chase People
Many are under the impression that snakes chase after people, especially when they’re angry. While this is true about some species (the bushmaster of Central America), not all species chase humans intentionally. In fact, when a snake does chase a human, it’s usually because it has been startled. Chasing is a defense mechanism that sets in once they feel they’re in danger.

Heat Causes Blindness in Snakes
Another common misconception is that snakes go blind when temperatures get extremely hot. While it’s true that snakes do suffer from temporary vision impairment, it has nothing to do with the heat. When snakes are shedding, they also shed their ocular scales. As a result, their eyes develop a milky appearance and their vision is compromised. They do regain their sight when new ocular scales develop, however.

Snakes are interesting creatures and fascinating pets. We hope this debunks some of the myths you may have heard.