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What is the scientific classification of snakes?

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Quick Answer

The scientific classification of snakes depends on the type of snake, but it is based on the domain, the kingdom, the phylum, the class, the order, the family, the genus and the species of snake itself, according to the University of Wisconsin. Most snakes are part of the reptilia class, meaning that they are cold-blooded reptiles with scales, and they protect their embryos with amniotic membrane sacs.

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Full Answer

Most snakes are also part of the squamata order, meaning that they have skin made up of scales and are able to open their mouths wide enough to swallow prey whole. The classification of snakes becomes more specific when moving down the classification list: domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

An example for a snake classification can be seen with the reticulated python whose scientific name is Python reticulatus. The domain for this snake is known as "eukarya" because this snake has a nucleus within its cell. The kingdom for this snake is "animalia" because it is mobile and also does not produce its own food. Most of the animals in the world fall within this kingdom category.

The phylum is known as "chordata" because this snake has a backbone, pharyngeal gill slits, a post-anal tail and a dorsal nerve cord that develop throughout its lifetime similarly to the other animals in the "chordata" classification. The final classifications include "reptilia" for class, "squamata" for order, "pythonidae" for family, "python" for genus and "python reticulatus" for species.

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