Q:

Does a snake have a backbone?

A:

Quick Answer

A snake does have a backbone. In fact, the majority of bones in a snake's body are vertebrae, the cylindrical bony segments that make up the backbone or spine.

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Full Answer

Snakes can have anywhere from 130 to 500 vertebrae, depending on species and length. The vertebrae have interlocking projections on the front and back ends to allow for a combination of flexibility and strength. Unlike other animals, snakes use their vertebrae as their primary means of locomotion, rather than using limb bones. Most snakes wriggle their spines in a smooth, S-shaped motion called lateral progression in order to get where they're going. Heavier snakes move their spines up and down in what is called rectilinear motion.

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Related Questions

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    Does a five-headed snake exist?

    A:

    No evidence confirms that a five-headed snake has ever existed. The circulated pictures of a cobra with five or seven heads show merely similar snake heads joined using computer programs. Some photographs of the snake appear to have a fake body lying in brush with heads added through special effects.

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  • Q:

    How big can a snake grow?

    A:

    The longest snake in the world is the reticulated python, which can measure up to 30 feet in length, and the heaviest snake is the green anaconda, which can weigh up to 550 pounds. The weight and length of snakes varies widely by species; for example, the Barbados thread snake measures just 4 inches long as an adult.

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    What is the largest snake?

    A:

    The green anaconda is the world's largest snake species. These giants may reach lengths of more than 29 feet and weigh more than 550 pounds. The snakes are native to the marshes, swamps and streams of tropical rain forests in South America's Amazon basin.

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    Does a snake have a heart?

    A:

    A typical snake has a heart that is located near the head, close to the esophagus and thyroid. Some snakes have hearts that can move or change size to adapt to various situations.

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