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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