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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Serpent Anatomy Summary

Serpent Anatomy

Book Summary   by:April Risch     Original Author: April
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The serpent has gotten the worst reputation in history, nearly through no fault of it’s own as most animals are born with a primal instinct to fear the snake. An evolutionary bonus to some creatures since many snakes are poisonous. In fact, most snakes are venomous, although usually it’s a rear fanged protein agent. The rarer front fanged venom is always deadly, often fatal nerve attacking concoction nature equipped the snake with to capture prey much faster than the snake himself. Most snakes are ambush predators that feed on warm blooded prey, the exceptions are slender, quick snakes, mostly water snakes that feed on fish or the terrestrial variety that survives off insects. I will try to overviews as many snakes that I am familiar with as categorized by their life style, as the snake is progress at perfection, streamlined predators adept at survival. To begin, at clearing centuries of persecution, I would like to explain how the snake sees the world. It’s a very interesting view indeed. Snakes have three basic means of vision, their eyesight itself is poor and unreliable at best, so when a geriatric python looses his eyesight, it is of no consequence. Their eyes can vaguely make out shape, size and depth perception in shades of unremarkable grey. What adds vibrant color to this picture is the Jacob’s organ located in the brain, snakes flick out their forked tongues to taste the air and pull sent molecules back into the Jacobs organ. This is a very mysterious process also employed by the beloved dog. The best explanation is that the senses of taste and smell are so closely linked, the act of eating is unimportant. The scents of food, a rival male, predator or available female are sprung into depiction for the snake. The third, and most interesting attribute are the labial pits, located on the snakes snout and coated in a chemical that adds a sixth sense to the world. The snake sees heat. This ability is not seen in any other animal on earth and the human replication of it is still fairly new technology. A snake’s view of the world is arguably better than any other animal. And undoubted better for pure survival. Remember how a snake sees before sticking your had at one, you are warm, smell like a mammal, and possible edible size. When a person is bit by a snake, particularly a captive one, it is never the snake’s fault. A snake eating is fascinating, often being compared to a human tying their hands behind their back and swallowing a whole watermelon! This description is not far off. The snake has a detachable jaw, that can work independently side to side to bring prey into the neck, then the muscles take over contracting the prey item whole into the stomach, where it will remain a visible lump for several days.
The snake digestion is so efficient that it will digest bones, entrails, and all tissues, leaving only the fur to be excreted later. Some snakes may go months before needing another meal, making them far from the vicious killer they are so often made out to be. Even the infamous cobras and rattle snakes, look for a warm, sunny spot to thermal regulate and relax in solitude after a feeding and it’s a human’s own choice to disturb them for whatever reason. Sometimes human interaction with a snake is pure accident, but more often it is folly. All snakes desire peace and privacy from other creatures, and most animals have the common sense and courtesy to bestow it on them. Even the worlds most dangerous snakes don’t like wasting venom on defense when it could be saved for tomorrow‘s supper. The primary reason snakes and humans meet undesirably is human expansion onto the snake’s natural habitat. Or the fact that humans draw rodents to their domiciles, actually making the snake an asset! Free pest control for everyone, thanks to snakes and the equally unpopular spider! Nature has a balance for taking out disease spreading critters such as insects and rodents. Now, if only that was the popular opinion. Not many people like serpents, or they like them for the ‘macho appeal’ of owning a dangerous carnivore. Anyone who really wants a venomous snake for non medical reasons seriously needs lots of help. Snakes deserve respect. They have survived and evolved efficiently for thousands of years. Some scientist believe that snakes evolved from burrowing lizards, evidenced by the cloacae spurs near their vents. These can very loosely be called appendages. Their only known function is used in mating, to help position a male on a female. Not that the male snake has much trouble mating, he has what’s known as a hemi-penis. They possess two penises, forked just like their tongues. Streamlined indeed, from head to, well, you know.
Published: February 18, 2006   
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