Snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Many species of snakes have skulls with several more joints than their lizard ancestors, enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads with their highly mobile jaws. To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes’ paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca. Lizards have evolved elongate bodies without limbs or with greatly reduced limbs about twenty five times indepently via convergent evolution, leading to many lineages of legless lizards. Legless lizards resemble snakes, but several common groups of legless lizards have eyelids and external ears, which snakes lack. Living snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica, and on most smaller land masses — exceptions include some large islands such as Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, the Hawaiian archipelago, and the islands of New Zealand. Additionally, sea snakes are widespread throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. More than 20 families are currently recognized, comprising about 500 genera and about 3100 species.[23
Snakes (or serpents) are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes.
Snakes (or serpents) are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. The name is also often used to refer to all members of that suborder; for example, some of the largest snakes are members of the family Boidae. The taxonomy is not entirely certain: some sources show snakes as a paraphyletic group from which all other groups descended, while other sources show them as sister taxa to lizards and amphisbaenians (e.g., Zardoya & Meyer de Schauensee 1999).
Are you interested in learning more about what a snake is? Is there something specific about them that you would like to know? Well this guide has got it all covered!
Like all other squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales.
Unlike most other reptiles, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. They use their tongues to smell and taste their environment and can usually detect both the direction and intensity of odor sources. This helps them find prey which they then hold against the ground with their jaws. Snakes’ eyesight is generally considered very poor; many species have only two functioning eyelids and lack eyelashes or eyebrows. The outermost layer of a snake’s epidermis consists of corneocytes, cells filled with keratin protein [the same protein found in human hair] that strengthens the epidermis (the outer surface). The scales actually overlap each other like shingles on a roof, which helps give strength to the entire structure.*
Most species are nonvenomous and those that have venom use it primarily to kill and subdue prey rather than for self-defense.
Snakes are a diverse group of reptiles that can be found on every continent except Antarctica. There are around 3,500 species of snakes in the world and almost all of them are nonvenomous (only about 10% have venom). The exception is the black mamba, which is considered to be one of Africa’s deadliest snakes.
Most species of snakes kill by constricting their prey or predators with their strong bodies. But don’t worry—most snakes aren’t dangerous! Only about 25% have venom that can pose a threat to humans. And even then, most bites are not fatal because people do not suffer from anaphylaxis after being bitten by a snake
Snakes do not have ears like us humans do; instead they use their tongues to feel vibrations around them or smell with their forked tongues in order to locate their prey
Some possess venom potent enough to cause painful injury or death to humans.
Venoms are complex mixtures of proteins and other substances that act as irritants, toxins, or enzymes to affect the physiology and cause disease in a prey animal. The venomous snakes possess fangs which they use to inject their venom into their prey. Venomous snakes are usually identified by a triangular head, whereas non-venomous ones have rounded heads.
Nonvenomous snakes either swallow prey alive or kill by constriction.
Nonvenomous snakes either swallow prey alive or kill by constriction. The latter method involves the snake wrapping itself around its prey and squeezing until the animal suffocates. After the prey has died, a nonvenomous snake will swallow its meal whole, head first.
Snakes are not always venomous. Even if you don’t see any fangs, it’s possible that a snake could bite you and cause some pain or discomfort—but no real harm! However, there are certain types of snakes that can be very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs: rattlesnakes (which have rattles on their tails), coral snakes (which have red bands touching black bands), cobras (which have wide hoods), and vipers (which don’t have heat-sensitive pits).
If you do see a poisonous snake, keep your distance! If necessary run away from it as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t feel threatened by your presence; otherwise it might attack out of fear or self-defence instinctive reflexes kicking in when feeling threatened itself.,
Snakes have many different types of skin covering their body.
Snakes have several types of skin covering their body. The most common type is scales, which are made of keratin. Scales are attached in overlapping rows to the snake’s vertebrae, and they even grow back if they’re damaged or shed off completely. The second-most common type is smooth skin, which covers most snakes’ bodies and faces. This type is not covered by scales at all—it’s actually just one layer of cells with no hard outer shell like you’d find on a frog or lizard. The third-most common type is granular (or “naked”) snake that has no scales or smooth skin at all—it only has tiny bumps on its skin called tubercles that help it feel its way around when exploring new areas or hunting prey.
When it comes time for snakes to shed their old layers of dead tissue (which happens once per year), the process begins with them sloughing off their inner layer of epidermis over a period ranging from 24 hours up until several days depending on how thick/thin each individual layer needs to be before being replaced by new ones being formed underneath each day after that point until complete shedding occurs! There may also be some small patches where older layers aren’t being sloughed off yet because they haven’t yet reached maturity yet; these areas will eventually be shed too once more time passes by so don’t worry too much about those patches sticking around longer than normal.”
Most snakes have rows of shields, called scales or scutes, covering the upper surface of their body (dorsally).
Scales are made of keratin and are not shed like human skin. They’re not waterproof, but they’re also not as flexible or strong as humans’ skin is. Scales can’t be bent easily, so they aren’t soft to the touch—they’re actually quite hard. This means that snakes don’t have any trouble moving through the world (except for the fact that we keep locking them up). The smoothness of snake scales means that they don’t stick together when pressed against each other, which is great for a reptile with no hair follicles!
There are no external ears and so snakes cannot hear in the same way as humans, however, some species can sense vibrations through their jawbones (see snake senses).
Snakes do not have external ears. They can hear, but in a different way than humans. Snakes don’t have external ears like we do, so they rely on vibrations or other senses to pick up sounds.
Snakes are able to sense vibrations through their jawbones and skull bones in much the same way that we hear with our middle ear bones (the malleus, incus and stapes). This allows snakes to “hear” when prey animals run across nearby ground cover or when other animals move nearby. Some species also use their tongues as extra sensors for sensing vibration patterns in the air around them.
Another way snakes perceive the world is through their sense of smell: they are able to detect odor molecules that float around in the air around them using special sensory organs called Jacobson’s organs (which are found behind each eye). These organs allow a snake to track down its prey based on scent trails left behind by rodents and small mammals as well as birds’ nests high up in trees; some snakes even have an acute sense of taste!
Snakes also have a great sense of sight – though unlike humans who see things with two eyes, most snakes only have one functioning eye at any given time because they shed their scales during moltings which can prevent vision for several days until new scales grow back into place again (see Snake Molting).
Snakes are something. They are long and scary.
Snakes are long, scary things. The ones that aren’t really long and scary aren’t really snakes.
They’re just other things.
Snakes have fascinated people for centuries, with tales of snake charmers and stories of the snake being a symbol of temptation and evil. Many religions even revere snakes as symbols of fertility or rebirth. And while they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, these fascinating creatures deserve our respect—which includes keeping our hands off!