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Toy snake figure, Tlaquepaque, Mexico, 1970s

At Christmas, children in Central and South America often make a Nativity scene of the birth of Jesus. In the stable they may put an ox, donkey and sheep – and maybe even a snake. This spotted snake is one of five from a Mexican Nativity. It is three centimetres long and painted turquoise. Many snakes live in Mexico. Some are found in forests or near rivers. Others, like the rattlesnake, prefer the hot desert.

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