Docent Informations
What does "docent" mean?
We are a young group. The pioneers started the group in April 1997. Since then, we have grown modestly to 93 docents. The Night Safari Volunteer Rangers were brought under the Docent Programme in March 1999.
The docents are self-run by a committee of docents which co-ordinates inputs from all docents and liaises with the zoo management to put into motion the group's activities.
A docent newsletter is issued every two months so docents can keep up with the latest in zoo happenings and docent activities. Sprinkled with inspiring stories and amusing anecdotes, the Docent Deliberations is always a great read! We also constantly undertake research projects to expand and update our knowledge as well as explore new areas of interest.
Singapore Zoological Gardens Docents

The biggest, smallest, deadliest and more


The smallest snake: Dwarf blind snake (Leptotyphlops humilis) is only 10 cm long. A rare snake found only on the islands of St. Lucia, Martinique and Barbados, it is a member of the family of blindsnakes which feed on tinier prey like insects and worms.


Longest Snake: The Reticulated Python (Python Reticulatus) was recognised as the longest snake with the maximum verified length of 10.1 meters (almost as long as a bus!). However according to some myths the Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) (left) from South America can reach 18 meters. But up till today the prize offered by the New York Zoological Society for a 9-meter specimen remains unclaimed. The Green Anaconda, however, is the heaviest snake in the world, and can grow up to about 130 kgs. Pythons and boas are among the largest and longest snakes.


Most venomous snake: The Hook-nosed seasnake (Enhydrina schistosa) from The Perisan Gulf to Southern Asia is considered to be the most poisonous. Its venom is estimated to be 100 times more potent than the King Cobra. But few people are killed by it because like most seasnakes, it is shy and gentle and seldom bites, even when handled by people.

Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) from Australia


Deadliest snake: The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) from India eastward to Vietnam, southern China, and the Philippines, and Southeast Asia through Malaysia and Indonesia. It is also considered the longest venomous snake, averaging 3m with the longest verified length at 5.58m. Although its venom may not be as toxic as the hook-nosed seasnake, the King Cobra can inject a larger quantity of venom. Its glands can contain about 6 millilitres of venom, which is enough to kill an Asian elephant.


The shortest venomous snake: The Narqua Dwarf Adder (Bitis Schneideri) from Namibia, Africa. A big specimen reaches only 20cm, or about the length of a drinking straw. The biggest snake that ever lived: The Giant African Python (Giagantophis garstini) that lived 55 million years ago in Africa. It was about 11.8m long.

again the next season.


The longest fang


Is owned by the Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) of Africa. Its fangs are more than 5cm long from base to tip. The snake itself can grow to 2m and is thick and muscular. In addition, it is superbly camouflaged for its favourite ambush spot; leaf-strewn undergrowth. (There are TWO Gaboon Vipers in the photo on the left, can you find them both?). They prey on birds, mammals and have been known to take even small antelopes. Although their venom is not as toxic as some snakes, they are dangerous because they can inject a large quantity.

The coolest snake: Is probably the European Adder (Vipera berus). It is found across Europe, Asia to Sakhalin Island and extending into the Arctic Circle at 67 deg N in parts of southern Siberia. It is active only for a few months and during the cold season lies deep within soil crevices. Females give birth to live young in about 2 months but don't feed while they are pregnant. Many die after giving birth and survivors often fail to gather enough energy to breed.


The oldest snake: is a male Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) called ‘Popeye’ which died in 1977 at the ripe old age of 40 years 3 months and 14 days at Philadelphia Zoo. The fastest snake: is believed to be the black mamba of Africa. It is reputed to be able to travel up to 14-19 km/h in short bursts.

More about snakes

- What are snakes?
- Are snakes cold?
- Why are snakes long?

- What do snakes eat? Do they drink?
- How do snakes swallow?
- How do snakes hunt?
- Why and how do snakes kill?


Snake predators and how do snakes protect themselves?
Snake mating, eggs and babies


Where are snakes found?
Fascinating snake adaptations to various habitats

Snake bites and first aid

Snakes in danger: role and conservation and snakes in human culture

Snake records: biggest, smallest, deadliest and more


- More snakes
- More animals
- General snake links and references

Further informations in german can be found here!

Further Links
© Copyright SZGDOCENT. All Rights Reserved.