Image:YoungCopperhead.jpgA snake charmer during a performance in Jaipur, India
Discover great deals on the many hard to find and one of a kind items available only on ebay!

Snake

Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. There are also several species of legless lizard which superficially resemble snakes, but are not otherwise related to them. more...

HomeHome
AmphibianAmphibian
ArthropodArthropod
BirdBird
CatCat
DinosaurDinosaur
DogDog
FishFish
MammalMammal
MythologicalMythological
ReptileReptile
GeckoGecko
LizardLizard
SnakeSnake
TortoiseTortoise
TurtleTurtle


A love of snakes is called ophiophilia, a fear of snakes is called ophidiophobia (or snakephobia). A specialist in snakes is an ophiologist.

An old synonym for snake is serpent; in modern usage this usually refers to a mythic or symbolic snake, and information about such creatures will be found under serpent (symbolism). This article deals with the biology of snakes.

Evolution

The phylogeny of snakes is poorly known due to the fact that snake skeletons are typically small and fragile, making fossilization unlikely. It has however been generally agreed, on the basis of morphology, that snakes descended from lizard-like ancestors. Recent research based on genetics and biochemistry confirms this; snakes form a venom clade with several extant lizard families.

Morphology further suggests that the likeliest ancestors were related to mosasaurs — extinct aquatic reptiles from the Cretaceous — which in turn are thought to have derived from varanid lizards. Under this hypothesis, the fused, transparent eyelids of snakes are thought to have evolved to combat marine conditions (corneal water loss through osmosis), while the external ears were lost through disuse in an aquatic environment, ultimately leading to an animal similar in appearance to sea snakes of today. In the Late Cretaceous, snakes re-colonized the land much as they are today. The best fossil snake remains are from Late Cretateous marine sediments, which supports this hypothesis. Similar skull structure; reduced/absent limbs; and other anatomical features found in both mosasaurs and snakes lead to a positive cladistical correlation, though some features are also shared with varanids. Supposedly similar locomotion for both groups is also used as support for this hypothesis.

An alternative hypothesis is that snakes directly evolved from burrowing lizards, either varanids or some other group. One extant analog of these putative ancestors is the earless monitor Lanthanotus of Borneo, although it also is semi-aquatic. As these ancestors became more subterranean, they lost their limbs and became more streamlined for burrowing. Features such as the transparent, fused eyelids and loss of external ears, according to this hypothesis, evolved to combat subterranean conditions (scratched corneas, dirt in the ears). As with the marine origin hypothesis, snakes re-emerged onto the surface of the land much as they are today. Fragmentary remains that have been found from the Early Cretaceous may refute either hypothesis. Further insight will no doubt also come from more detailed genetic studies.

The great diversity of modern snakes appeared in the Paleocene, probably correlated with the adaptive radiation of mammals following the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Feeding

All snakes are carnivorous, eating small animals including lizards and other snakes, rodents and other small mammals, birds, eggs or insects. Some snakes have a venomous bite which they use to kill their prey before eating it. Other snakes kill their prey by constriction resulting in death by strangulation. Still others swallow their prey whole and alive.

Snakes do not chew their food and have a very flexible lower jaw, the two halves of which are not rigidly attached, and numerous other joints in their skull (see snake skull), allowing them to open their mouths wide enough to swallow their prey whole, even if it is larger in diameter than the snake itself. Contrary to the popular myth, at no point do they "unhinge" their jaws (disarticulate their mandibular joints).

After eating, snakes become torpid while the process of digestion takes place. Digestion is an intensive activity, especially after the consumption of very large prey, and so much metabolic energy is involved that Crotalus durissus, the Mexican rattlesnake, may actually raise its body temperature as much as 6 degrees above the surrounding environment. Because of this, a snake disturbed after having eaten recently will often regurgitate the prey in order to be able to escape the perceived threat. However, when undisturbed, the digestive process is highly efficient, dissolving and absorbing everything but hair and claws, which are excreted along with uric acid waste. Snakes have been known to occasionally die from trying to swallow an animal that is too big.

Snakes do not normally prey on people, but there are instances of small children being eaten by large constrictors in the jungle. While some particularly aggressive species exist, most will not attack humans unless startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact. In fact, most snakes are non-venomous or have venom that is not harmful to humans.

Skin

The skin is covered in scales. Most snakes use specialized belly scales to move, gripping surfaces. The body scales may be smooth, keeled, or granular. Their eyelids are transparent "spectacle" scales which remain permanently closed. They shed their skin periodically. Unlike other reptiles, this is done in one piece, like pulling off a sock. It is thought that the primary purpose of this is to remove external parasites. This periodic renewal has led to the snake being a symbol of healing and medicine, as pictured in the Rod of Asclepius. In "advanced" (Caenophidian) snakes, the broad belly scales and rows of dorsal scales correspond to the vertebrae, allowing scientists to count the vertebrae without dissection. If there is not enough humidity in the air while snakes are shedding their skin, it can be very dangerous for the snake, because the dry skin does not shed. Skin that remains attached to the snake can harbour diseases and parasites. A tail tip that is not removed can constrict as the snake grows, cutting off the blood supply to the end of the tail causing it to drop off. A retained spectacle can cause the snake to become blind in the affected eye.

Perception

While snake vision is unremarkable (generally being best in arboreal species and worst in burrowing species), it is able to detect movement. Some snakes, like the Asian vine snake, have binocular vision. In most snakes, the lens moves back and forth within the eyeball to focus. In addition to their eyes, some snakes (pit vipers, pythons, and some boas) have infrared sensitive receptors in deep grooves between the nostril and eye which allow them to "see" the radiated heat. As snakes have no external ears, hearing is restricted to the sensing of vibrations, but this sense is extremely well developed. A snake smells by using its forked tongue to collect airborne particles then passing them to the Jacobson's organ in the mouth for examination. The fork in the tongue gives the snake a sort of directional sense of smell.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


[List your site here Free!]

Rattlers Original Snake Gaiters, Husky, 21-1/2” CalfRattlers Original Snake Gaiters, Husky, 21-1/2” Calf $60.50 Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Husky, LongRattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Husky, Long $40.50
Antique Copper Double Egyptian Snake - Snakes Stamping ~ Finding (Fb-6084)Antique Copper Double Egyptian Snake - Snakes Stamping ~ Finding (Fb-6084) $2.67 Zaire 1987 Reptiles Mnh Snakes, Lizards, Animals = Don'T Watch - Buy !Zaire 1987 Reptiles Mnh Snakes, Lizards, Animals = Don'T Watch - Buy ! $3.25
10pc 925Sterling Silver Jewelry Snake Bone Chain Women Men Necklace 1-4Mm C00810pc 925Sterling Silver Jewelry Snake Bone Chain Women Men Necklace 1-4Mm C008 $5.31 to $44.36 Was: Previous Price $5.59 Wwf Jake the Snake Roberts Candy DispenserWwf Jake the Snake Roberts Candy Dispenser $22.00
ScentBlocker Snake Gaiters, RegularScentBlocker Snake Gaiters, Regular $49.95 Trending at $53.29 2016 Topps Wwe Heritage Wrestling Turn Back the Clock #4 Jake The Snake Roberts2016 Topps Wwe Heritage Wrestling Turn Back the Clock #4 Jake The Snake Roberts $0.99
16.5" 42cm Sterling Silver 925 Thick 1.6mm Snake Chain Necklace - Genuine Silver16.5" 42cm Sterling Silver 925 Thick 1.6mm Snake Chain Necklace - Genuine Silver $34.00 Led Zeppelin "Dragon Snake" 1977, 3-Cd, Sbd, Empress ValleyLed Zeppelin "Dragon Snake" 1977, 3-Cd, Sbd, Empress Valley $59.99
25” to 28” Inseam, 28” Thigh, ScentBlocker Snake Chaps25” to 28” Inseam, 28” Thigh, ScentBlocker Snake Chaps $68.75 New Women Men Antique Caduceus Winged Snakes Sword Pendant Choker NecklaceNew Women Men Antique Caduceus Winged Snakes Sword Pendant Choker Necklace $0.99
nwt sz 36B Sofia Vergara Bra underwire convertible Snake #931118 w lace 36 Bnwt sz 36B Sofia Vergara Bra underwire convertible Snake #931118 w lace 36 B $12.50 33”-36” Inseam, Rattlers Original Snake Chaps, Regular33”-36” Inseam, Rattlers Original Snake Chaps, Regular $66.25
Long Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, RegularLong Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Regular $40.50 Regular Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, RegularRegular Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Regular $40.50 Trending at $43.18
Custom Made 1/6 Scale Clint Eastwood Blonde Snake pistol Hot Toys cowboy headCustom Made 1/6 Scale Clint Eastwood Blonde Snake pistol Hot Toys cowboy head $29.99 Rattlers Original Snake Chaps, Husky, 33”-36” InseamRattlers Original Snake Chaps, Husky, 33”-36” Inseam 00001E26 $66.25
Papua New Guinea 2006 Mnh - Reptiles - Snakes - set of 6 stampsPapua New Guinea 2006 Mnh - Reptiles - Snakes - set of 6 stamps $4.90 Snake/clock bronze pendant glass cabochon vintage fancy steampunk NecklaceSnake/clock bronze pendant glass cabochon vintage fancy steampunk Necklace $4.60
Snake Chain Rm025 925 Solid Sterling Silver Anklet Bracelet 10 in. length 231-10Snake Chain Rm025 925 Solid Sterling Silver Anklet Bracelet 10 in. length 231-10 $11.49 Adidas Men's Samoa Vulc Shoes Snake Print Black/Gold C76447 - Brand New In Box!Adidas Men's Samoa Vulc Shoes Snake Print Black/Gold C76447 - Brand New In Box! $54.99
30x6mm Snake Skin Jasper Square Pendant Bead M001803830x6mm Snake Skin Jasper Square Pendant Bead M0018038 $0.01 Eapg-style scarce L E Smith Snake Dance salt or pepper shaker, no damageEapg-style scarce L E Smith Snake Dance salt or pepper shaker, no damage $49.00
Rattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Husky, RegularRattlers Scaletech Snake Chaps, Husky, Regular $40.50 Trending at $43.16 Premium 4 Channel Mogami 2931 Snake | Neutrik Gold Trs Xlr-M | Green 50 ft.Premium 4 Channel Mogami 2931 Snake | Neutrik Gold Trs Xlr-M | Green 50 ft. $194.95
Rattlers Original Snake Gaiters, Regular, 18-1/2” CalfRattlers Original Snake Gaiters, Regular, 18-1/2” Calf $60.50 *Aet* Ionia. Ephesus Cistophoric Tetradrachm. Vf+. Cista Mystica-Snakes-Minerva.*Aet* Ionia. Ephesus Cistophoric Tetradrachm. Vf+. Cista Mystica-Snakes-Minerva. $320.00
Mini Ludo Snakes & Ladders Play Mat Travel Children Traditional Board Game GiftMini Ludo Snakes & Ladders Play Mat Travel Children Traditional Board Game Gift $3.44 9 Inch Length Snake Chain Rm020 .925 Solid Sterling Silver Anklet Bracelet 230-99 Inch Length Snake Chain Rm020 .925 Solid Sterling Silver Anklet Bracelet 230-9 $9.35
Antique Art Nouveau Snake Around Aquamarine Rhinestone Victorian Stick Hat PinAntique Art Nouveau Snake Around Aquamarine Rhinestone Victorian Stick Hat Pin $59.95 Outward Hound 32069 Invincibles Plush Snake Stuffingless Durable Dog Toys ToyOutward Hound 32069 Invincibles Plush Snake Stuffingless Durable Dog Toys Toy $13.45
Naot Jessica Beige Snake Leather Slide Sandal Womens sizes 5-11/36-42 NewNaot Jessica Beige Snake Leather Slide Sandal Womens sizes 5-11/36-42 New $124.95 925 Sterling Silver Blue Opal Opal Heart Necklace 18 Sterling Snake Chain925 Sterling Silver Blue Opal Opal Heart Necklace 18 Sterling Snake Chain $49.85
Scentblocker Diamondback Premium Snake Gaiters, RegularScentblocker Diamondback Premium Snake Gaiters, Regular $59.95 Ariat Men's Conquest Snake Proof Boot 10018700Ariat Men's Conquest Snake Proof Boot 10018700 $199.95
Chicos Travelers Slinky Snake Print Cropped Pants Capris Sz 2 Large 12Chicos Travelers Slinky Snake Print Cropped Pants Capris Sz 2 Large 12 $29.00 Scentblocker Diamondback Premium Snake Gaiters, LargeScentblocker Diamondback Premium Snake Gaiters, Large $59.95
Click to see more Snake items at ebay.com
Prices current as of last update, 04/24/17 10:55am.

Home Contact Resources Exchange Links eBay