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Snake
Snakes are elongated, limbless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes . Like all other squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Many species of snakes have skulls with several more joints than their lizard ancestors, enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads (cranial kinesis). To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca. Lizards have evolved elongate bodies without limbs or with greatly reduced limbs about twenty-five times independently via convergent evolution, leading to many lineages of legless lizards. These resemble snakes, but several common groups of legless lizards have eyelids and external ears, which snakes lack, although this rule is not universal (see Amphisbaenia, Diba ...
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Coral Snake
Coral snakes are a large group of elapid snakes that can be divided into two distinct groups, the Old World coral snakes and New World coral snakes. There are 16 species of Old World coral snakes, in three genera (''Calliophis'', ''Hemibungarus'', and ''Sinomicrurus''), and over 65 recognized species of New World coral snakes, in two genera (''Micruroides'' and ''Micrurus''). Genetic studies have found that the most basal lineages have origins in Asia, suggesting that the group originated in the Old World. While new world species of both genera are venomous, their bites are seldom lethal; only two confirmed fatalities have been documented in the past 100 years from the genus ''Micrurus''. Meanwhile, snakes of the genus ''Micruroides'' have never caused a medically-significant bite. North American coloration patterns Experts now recognize that certain coloration patterns and common mnemonics - such as the phrase “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, you’re good, ...
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Reptile
Reptiles, as most commonly defined are the animals in the class Reptilia ( ), a paraphyletic grouping comprising all sauropsids except birds. Living reptiles comprise turtles, crocodilians, squamates ( lizards and snakes) and rhynchocephalians (tuatara). As of March 2022, the Reptile Database includes about 11,700 species. In the traditional Linnaean classification system, birds are considered a separate class to reptiles. However, crocodilians are more closely related to birds than they are to other living reptiles, and so modern cladistic classification systems include birds within Reptilia, redefining the term as a clade. Other cladistic definitions abandon the term reptile altogether in favor of the clade Sauropsida, which refers to all amniotes more closely related to modern reptiles than to mammals. The study of the traditional reptile orders, historically combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology. The earliest known proto-reptiles origin ...
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Squamata
Squamata (, Latin ''squamatus'', 'scaly, having scales') is the largest order of reptiles, comprising lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians (worm lizards), which are collectively known as squamates or scaled reptiles. With over 10,900 species, it is also the second-largest order of extant (living) vertebrates, after the perciform fish. Members of the order are distinguished by their skins, which bear horny scales or shields, and must periodically engage in molting. They also possess movable quadrate bones, making possible movement of the upper jaw relative to the neurocranium. This is particularly visible in snakes, which are able to open their mouths very wide to accommodate comparatively large prey. Squamata is the most variably sized order of reptiles, ranging from the dwarf gecko (''Sphaerodactylus ariasae'') to the Reticulated python (''Malayopython reticulatus'') and the now-extinct mosasaurs, which reached lengths over . Among other reptiles, squamates are most closel ...
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Grass Snake
The grass snake (''Natrix natrix''), sometimes called the ringed snake or water snake, is a Eurasian non-venomous colubrid snake. It is often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians. Subspecies Many subspecies are recognized, including: ''Natrix natrix helvetica'' ( Lacépède, 1789) was formerly treated as a subspecies, but following genetic analysis it was recognised in August 2017 as a separate species, ''Natrix helvetica'', the barred grass snake. Four other subspecies were transferred from ''N. natrix'' to ''N. helvetica'', becoming ''N. helvetica cettii'', ''N. helvetica corsa'', ''N. helvetica lanzai'' and ''N. helvetica sicula''. Description The grass snake is typically dark green or brown in colour with a characteristic yellow or whitish collar behind the head, which explains the alternative name ringed snake. The colour may also range from grey to black, with darker colours being more prevalent in colder regions, ...
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Indian Cobra
The Indian cobra (''Naja naja''), also known as the spectacled cobra, Asian cobra, or binocellate cobra, is a species of cobra found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a member of the "big four" species that are responsible for the most snakebite cases in India. It is distinct from the king cobra which belongs to the monotypic genus ''Ophiophagus''. The Indian cobra is revered in Hindu mythology and culture, and is often seen with snake charmers. It is a protected species under the '' Indian Wildlife Protection Act'' (1972). Taxonomy The generic name and the specific epithet ''naja'' is a Latinisation of the Sanskrit word () meaning "cobra". The Indian cobra is classified under the genus ''Naja'' of the family Elapidae. The genus was first described by Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti in 1768. The species ''Naja naja'' was first described by the Swedish physician, zoologist, and botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. The genus ''Naja'' was split into ...
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Ringneck Snake
''Diadophis punctatus'', commonly known as the ring-necked snake or ringneck snake, is a harmless species of colubrid snake found throughout much of the United States, central Mexico, and south-eastern Canada. Ring-necked snakes are secretive, nocturnal snakes, so are rarely seen during the day time. They are best known for their unique defense posture of curling up their tails, exposing their bright red-orange posterior, ventral surface when threatened. Ring-necked snakes are believed to be fairly abundant throughout most of their range, though no scientific evaluation supports this hypothesis. Scientific research is lacking for the ring-necked snake, and more in-depth investigations are greatly needed. It is the only species within the genus ''Diadophis'', and currently 14 subspecies are identified, but many herpetologists question the morphologically based classifications. Description Ring-necked snakes are fairly similar in morphology throughout much of their distribut ...
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Alethinophidia
:''Common names: advanced snakes.'' The Alethinophidia are an infraorder of snakes that includes all snakes other than blind snakes and thread snakes. Snakes have long been grouped into families within Alethinophidia based on their morphology, especially that of their teeth. More modern phylogenetic hypotheses using genetic data support the recognition of 19 extant families (see below), although the taxonomy of alethinophidian snakes has long been debated, and ultimately the decision whether to assign a particular clade to a particular Linnaean rank (such as a superfamily, family, or subfamily) is arbitrary. Etymology The infraorder name Alethinophidia derives from the two Ancient Greek words (), meaning "truthful, genuine", and (), meaning "snake". Fossil record Fossils of alethinophidians were found in Cenomanian (Middle Cretaceous) sites of Wadi Milk Formation in Wadi Abu Hashim, Sudan. '' Coniophis'' presents the vertebral morphology similar to modern-day Anil ...
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Pacific Gopher Snake
The Pacific gopher snake (''Pituophis catenifer catenifer'') is a subspecies of large non-venomous colubrid snake native to the western coast of North America. Description Pacific gopher snake adults range in size from 3–7 feet (91–213  centimeters) in total length. However, most of the subspecies reach a length of 4–5 feet (122–152 cm). The hatchlings are relatively long, and they have been recorded at lengths upward of 20 inches (51 cm). The Pacific gopher snake has a base color ranging from yellow to dark brown and has a gray coloring on the sides of the body. It is a spotted snake, with the spots being dark brown. Usually there are 41 to 99 spots on the body, while the tail spots range from 14 to 33. The side of the body has 2 or 3 rows of alternating black and brown spots. A snake with keeled scales, and a narrow head that is wider than the neck, the Pacific gopher snake also displays a protruding rostral scale on the tip of the snout. The two ...
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Blunthead Tree Snake
''Imantodes cenchoa'' (common names: blunthead tree snake, fiddle-string snake, ''mapepire corde violon'') is a species of mildly venomous, rear-fanged snake in the family Colubridae. The species is native to in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Description The blunthead tree snake averages about in total length (including tail). Maximum total length is about . ''I. cenchoa'' is known for its long, slender body and very large head. The pupil of its eye is very distinct from other snakes. Most snakes found around the world are known to have very poor vision and rely mostly on smell and vibrations to detect signs of prey and predators. Arboreal snakes have much better vision than other snakes. The blunthead tree snake has a vertical slit for a pupil which allows the snake to look downward. This trait gives the blunthead tree snake an advantage over other snakes. The large eyes make up approximately 26% of its head. The ventral surface, or stomach, of the blunthead tr ...
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Scolecophidia
The Scolecophidia, commonly known as blind snakes or thread snakes, are an infraorder of snakes. They range in length from . All are fossorial (adapted for burrowing). Five families and 39 genera are recognized. The Scolecophidia infraorder is most likely paraphyletic. Taxonomy The infraorder name Scolecophidia derives from the two Ancient Greek words or σκώληκος (, genitive ), meaning "earthworm", and (), meaning "snake". It refers to their shape and fossorial lifestyle. Families Evolution Despite only having fossils as early as the Cretaceous, Scolecophidia itself likely originated in the Middle Jurassic, with Anomalepididae, Leptotyphlopidae, and Typhlopoidea diverging from one another during the Late Jurassic. Within Typhlopoidea, Gerrhopilidae likely diverged from the Xenotyphlopidae-Typhlopidae clade during the Early Cretaceous, and Xenotyphlopidae and Typhlopidae likely diverged from one another during the Late Cretaceous. Scolecophidians are believe ...
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Horned Rattlesnake
''Crotalus cerastes'', known as the sidewinder, horned rattlesnake or sidewinder rattlesnake,Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes. Comstock Publishing Associates. (7th printing, 1985). 1105 pp. . is a pit viper species belonging to the genus ''Crotalus'' (the rattlesnakes), and is found in the desert regions of the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Like all other pit vipers, it is venomous. Three subspecies are currently recognized. Description A small species, adult specimens measure between in length. Most adults are in length.Campbell JA, Lamar WW. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca and London. 870 pp. 1500 plates. . The females are larger than the males, which is unusual for this group of snakes.Stidworthy J. 1974. Snakes of the World. Grosset & Dunlap Inc. 160 pp. . Usually, 21 rows of keeled dorsal scales occur midbody.Behler JL, King FW. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North ...
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False Coral Snake
The Aniliidae are a monotypic family created for the monotypic genus ''Anilius'' that contains the single species ''A. scytale''. Common names include American pipe snake and false coral snake. It is found in South America. This snake possesses a vestigial pelvic girdle that is visible as a pair of cloacal spurs. It is ovoviviparous. It is non-venomous, and its diet consists mainly of amphibians and other reptiles. Currently, two subspecies are recognized, including the typical form described here. Description This species is found in the Amazon rainforest of South America, the Guianas, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is a moderate-sized snake attaining a size of about in length. It is reported to be ovoviviparous and feeds on beetles, caecilians (burrowing amphibians), amphisbaenids (legless lizards), small fossorial snakes, fish, and frogs. It has a cylindrical body of uniform diameter and a very short tail; it is brightly banded in red and black and reduced e ...
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