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Snakes are part of the amniote family of vertebrates. They are also called ophidians. It is a cold-blooded animal that is found throughout the globe with the exception of the poles. Fueling many myths and legends, snakes enjoy a bad reputation. However, they are timid animals.

The characteristics of the snake

The snake has no limbs. It moves thanks to the muscles of its long and powerful body. This is covered with scales whose color varies from one species to another. They also have common traits, such as:

bifid tongue; absence of eyelids; movable jaws; an articulated skull.

However, the body of a snake is divided into 3 parts: the head, the trunk and the tail. And contrary to popular belief, these reptiles had legs, which they gradually lost as they adapted to underground life. Their muscular body allows them to catch all kinds of prey, since snakes are carnivorous.

Depending on the species, the silhouette can be slender or more “compact”. Their size also varies depending on individuals and species. The blind snake of the Typhlopidae family is the smallest at only ten centimeters long. Conversely, the green anaconda and the reticulated python compete for first place on the podium of the largest snakes with a size of up to 10 meters.

The snake is almost deaf and understands its environment thanks to its very good eyesight, but also with its highly developed perception of vibrations on the ground.

The different categories of snakes

Snakes are classified based on their fangs. There are 5 families.

Aglyph snakes

These reptiles have the particularity of not having venom fangs. These are timid and harmless snakes, with the exception of Boinae and Pythoninae which still remain dangerous because they are powerful.

Opisthoglyph snakes

These snakes have one or more venom hooks on the posterior maxilla. In other words, venom can only be injected into prey that is already being swallowed. They are generally harmless to humans, except large specimens.

Opistodont snakes

They have two teeth without furrows in the lower maxilla. In other words, this snake is unable to inject its venom by biting. It mixes with its saliva and can only integrate another body in the event of a wound or chewing. It is therefore safe for humans.

Proteroglyph snakes

These snakes have two fixed, small hooks, directly attached to their venom gland on the front maxilla. They do not move whether the reptile’s mouth is open or closed.

The solenoglyph snakes

These reptiles have two long, movable hooks in the front maxilla. They are attached to the venom gland and fold into the mouth when it is closed. When it opens its mouth to bite, the fangs unfold and allow venom to be inoculated.

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