Q:

Do snakes have legs?

A:

Quick Answer

Some snakes, such as pythons and boa constrictors, have small, vestigial legs beneath their skin and tiny, claw-like spurs on each side of the cloaca, which include the remnants of what used to be leg bones. Male snakes use these spurs during courtship and for fighting, but not for locomotion.

Know More
Do snakes have legs?
Credit: Boaz Rottem Moment Open Getty Images

Full Answer

Fossil evidence suggests that snakes may have evolved from burrowing lizards. Hunting in tiny burrows and tunnels would have favored streamlined animals, with narrow pelvic bones and smaller legs. Eventually, legs would have been more of a hindrance than an advantage. There is dispute in the scientific community about whether snakes evolved from terrestrial lizards or marine reptiles, but the evidence clearly indicates that proto-snakes had legs.

Learn more about Snakes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    When do snakes shed their skin?

    A:

    Snakes shed their skin around once a month and follow a regular basis of shedding skin, which is necessary for optimal growth. The shedding process and timing is dependent upon good nutrition and proper humidity.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When do snakes lose their skin?

    A:

    Snakes lose their skin periodically as they mature. Shedding occurs to accommodate the reptile's increasing body mass, because snakes never stop growing. Unlike humans, who shed in an ongoing process, snakes replace their outer layers all at once.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between a Boa Constrictor and a Python?

    A:

    Pythons have an extra bone in their head and more teeth than boa constrictors. Another difference between the two snakes is that pythons lay their eggs while boas give birth to live young. Boa constrictors incubate eggs inside their bodies and give birth to as many as 60 babies.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats pythons?

    A:

    Pythons have many predators. Young pythons are subject to predation from birds, wild dogs, hyenas, larger snakes and even insects and spiders. Adult pythons are not immune to risk and may be attacked and eaten by birds of prey, leopards and lions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore