Does a Snake Have a Heart?

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.

A snake has a three-chambered heart consisting of two atria and one ventricle, and its heart is protected by a sac called a pericardium. A snake’s heart is in close proximity to the place where food passes through its body, but because snakes have no diaphragms, the heart can move aside to accommodate large portions of food going through the esophagus. The Burmese python has a heart that expands to pump more blood through its body and prevent complications after feasting on large meals.