Q:

Does a snake have a backbone?

A:

Quick Answer

A snake does have a backbone. In fact, the majority of bones in a snake's body are vertebrae, the cylindrical bony segments that make up the backbone or spine.

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Full Answer

Snakes can have anywhere from 130 to 500 vertebrae, depending on species and length. The vertebrae have interlocking projections on the front and back ends to allow for a combination of flexibility and strength. Unlike other animals, snakes use their vertebrae as their primary means of locomotion, rather than using limb bones. Most snakes wriggle their spines in a smooth, S-shaped motion called lateral progression in order to get where they're going. Heavier snakes move their spines up and down in what is called rectilinear motion.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is a snake a carnivore?

    A:

    All species of snakes are carnivores, or meat eaters. Most snakes eat rats and birds, but some of the larger species can eat deer and other larger animals. Small snakes eat invertebrates, such as insects.

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    Does a snake have a heart?

    A:

    A typical snake has a heart that is located near the head, close to the esophagus and thyroid. Some snakes have hearts that can move or change size to adapt to various situations.

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  • Q:

    What is the speed of a snake?

    A:

    The speed of a snake depends on the species and size. On average, the fastest a snake moves is between 5 and 8 mph. The world's fastest snake is the Black Mamba, which can reach speeds of 10 to 12 mph in short bursts.

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  • Q:

    How would you describe a snake?

    A:

    Snakes can be described as elongated, legless reptiles of the order Serpentes. Snakes are different from similar-looking reptiles, such as legless lizards, because they have no eyelids or external ears.

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