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Snakes - Vertebrates Slideshow

Snakes and Reptiles As we continue our tour of the reptiles, we find the snakes. Snakes are the legless branch of the class Sauropsida. The entire reptile class also includes turtles, lizards, and the group of alligators and crocodiles. Unlike other reptile species, several species of snakes are venomous to one degree or another. Only a few lizard species can generate venom although several have toxic saliva.

The obvious trait of snakes is the whole missing leg thing. Beyond that, they have a great variety. They can be very large like the Anacondas of South America or very small and poisonous like the Sea Krait. You can find rattlesnakes in the deserts and sea snakes in the. ummm. sea. You won't find snakes in the arctic or at very high altitudes. It's just too cold for reptiles to succeed in those locations.

All snakes eat meat. While you might find lizards and turtles eating leaves, the snake species are carnivorous and hunt prey. They might use venom to kill or be in a class of constrictors that wrap their bodies around prey. It's all very creepy and very cool at the same time. If you are given the chance to hold or touch a non-venomous snake, do it. They are wonderful vertebrates.

Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios

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