The Agile Snakes

Saturday, August 15, 2009

All 2, 700 kinds of snakes tend to look alike – long, squirmy and legless. But despite this superficial resemblance, they show just as much variability of form as their ancestors the lizards do. They range in size from the five inches of a burrowing snake no thicker than a goose quill to the 30 feet of an Asian python over 300 pounds in weight. And with these variations go others – environmental adaptations such as the prehensile tails of many of the arboreal snakes, or skin colors and patterns that match or blend with the surroundings. The amazing thing about snakes is that being legless has not proven a hindrance to locomotion, but an enhancement, making them extremely agile. Some snakes can even outdistance a man in brush or over rough ground.


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