Are Snakes Reptiles?

A King Cobra, the longest venomous snake in the world.
A King Cobra, the longest venomous snake in the world.

Snakes are reptiles. To be specific, they are classified as part of kingdom Animalia; phylum Chordata; and class Reptilia. There are several orders, family, genus, and species of snakes. Reptiles also include crocodiles, turtles, and lizards. Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, which means that their body temperature shifts depending on the surrounding. They lay in the sun to raise their body's temperature and crawl under rocks and concealed environments to lower the temperature. There are about 3,000 species of snakes. They can be found in oceans, streams, lakes, forests, and deserts. They can live in water, on land, and on top of trees. They are even found in Antarctica or the Arctic. Snakes require liquid water or dry land to survive. Some isolated islands such as New Zealand and Ireland do not have snakes.

Bodies Of Snakes

Snakes have cylindrical bodies that are covered by scales. These scales act like a protective armor against rough and hot surfaces when in movement. The scales are also waterproof and help keep water out. The scales on their belly allows the snake to move in smooth surfaces and grip on rough branches. Scales are made up of dead cells that need to – snakes, therefore, shed skin at least once a year. When snakes are about to shed skin, their eyes became cloudy and partially blind because they do not have eyelids but instead they possess a clear scale known as “spectacle” scales.

Do Snakes Have Bones?

A lot of people think that those snakes do not have bones because of their ability to bend their bodies. However, snakes have more than bones than humans do. While an adult human has about 33 vertebrae and 24 ribs, snakes have more than 200 vertebrae and as many ribs. Their bones are short and slender and are the reasons why they are flexible. They have strong muscles that protect the internal organs. The head and throat of a snake account for a third of the bones in the body. They have two large lungs, intestines, kidneys, and a long liver. 

Fangs Of Snakes

Most snakes have teeth, two rows on the bottom jaw and four rows on the top. However, only poisonous snakes have fangs. Fangs are the sharp, long and hollow teeth in the upper jaws of snakes. They are attached to venom sacs in the snake's head and are used to secrete venom. The venom kills or paralyzes the prey. In contrast, venom is used to manufacture antivenom.


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