How Do Snakes Move?

Snakes are able to move using their muscles and scales, and may exhibit any of four principle means of getting around. These methods include the serpentine, concertina, sidewinding and rectilinear methods.

The serpentine method, a wavy, undulating movement, is the most typical. It involves using objects in the environment to aid in momentum.

The concertina method involves holding the rear still while stretching out the front, and then holding the front still while pulling the rear forward.

Sidewinding is most useful on surfaces that are not solid, such as sand. It involves launching the head forward and allowing the body to follow.

Finally, the rectilinear method allows snakes to advance slowly and linearly by gripping onto a surface with their wide belly scales.