All About Snakes

Snakes are elongated carnivorous and limbless reptiles that belong to the suborder of Serpentes. There are more than 3,500 species of reptiles that have been classified based on their limbless condition and considerably elongated body and tail. Snakes are represented with the lizards and are in the order of Squamata and over the course of evolution, snakes have undergone a structural reduction and loss of limbs. Like all the Squamata, snakes are also heterothermic or cold-blooded, amniote vertebrates whose whole body is covered with overlapping scales. 


All snakes lack external limbs and few people confuse that all the legless reptiles are snakes. Well, that’s not true, certain lizards are also legless but they do not come under the classification of snakes. Most of the species of snakes have skulls with several more joints when compared to other reptiles. This allows the snakes to easily swallow prey that are twice their size as the snakes also have highly movable jaws. Snakes also have movable eyelids which allow them to focus or stare at their prey with full concentration.


Snakes have paired organs in their bodies that allow them to fit all the organs in their narrow body. Kidneys appear in front of another and also few species have snakes that have only one lung or it is greatly reduced in size.  Snakes also don’t have any ear openings and internally they also don’t have any urinary bladder. One unique feature of snakes is that they possess increased numbers of vertebrae and have developed two new qualities among vertebrates which are the presence of a tracheal lung in the neck region and a venom conducting system for the prey. 


Most species of snakes are non venomous but the ones which are venomous use it to kill the prey. The venom possessed by the snakes is enough to kill giant animals and the nonvenomous snakes either swallow their prey alive or kill it by twisting their bodies.


There are many theories on how snakes evolved but one theory suggests that the snakes might have evolved from the lizards in the middle Jurassic Epoc which is about 174.1 million to 163.5 million years ago.Snakes are found in every continent except Antarctica and other smaller islands and few larger islands such as Ireland, Green land, and Iceland. They are also not found on the small islands of the Atlantic and the central Pacific oceans. twenty families of snakes have been currently recognized which comprises about 520 genera and about 3900 species. 


Snakes can range in size and they can be as tiny as the Barbados thread snake which is only 10 cm long and it can be also as big as a python which is about 7 meters in length.

The Scientific Name of Snake

Snakes belong to the kingdom of Animalia and are carnivorous reptiles that belong to the suborder of Serpentes. There are almost 520 genera and 3600 species of snakes identified all across the world. Except for Antarctica, small islands, and few large islands such as the islands of New Zealand, Ireland, and Iceland, snakes are found everywhere in the world. 


Snakes come in various sizes, they could be as small as the Barbados thread snake which is only 10 centimeters in length and it can also be as large as the Python which comes close to 22 feet in length. Green Anaconda(Eunectes murinus), is also one of the largest snakes which is 17 feet in length and weighs up to 70 kgs. The record for the longest and longest snakes goes to an extinct snake by the name Titanoboa (Titanoboa cerrejonensis) which was 42 feet in length and weighed almost 1500 kilograms.


Titanoboa lived 67 million years ago and became extinct after 10 million years. The reason for its extinction are unknown but few believe that it became extinct because it was unable to adapt to the changing condition of the earth. Although there are 3600 different species of snakes all around the world. Below are scientific and the common names of a few well-known species are given.

Non-Venomous Snakes

Indian python or the Rock python- Python molurusRed Sand Boa or the John’s Snad Boa - Eryx johniiCommon watersnake- Nerodia sipedon Burnese python-Python bivittatus Common worm or the blind snake- Ramphotyphlops Rat snakes- Ptyas Green whip snake -Dryophis Tree snake-Dendrelaphis Common pond or the grass snake Common pond or the grass snake-Tropidonotus vine snake- Ahaetulla nasutaVenomous Snakes Indian cobra-Naja Naja King Cobra – Ophiophagus hannahBanded Krait – Bungarus caeruleusRussell’s Viper – Daboia russeliithe saw-scaled pit-less viper-Echis carinataAfrican black mamba-Dendroaspis polylepisCoral snake - CallophisThe rattlesnake of North America-CrotalusCoastal Taipan-Oxyuranus scutellatus scutellatusInland Taipan-Oxyuranus microlepidotusCommon Death Adder-Acanthophis antarcticus

Some Rare Facts about Snakes Are-

  • Worldwide there are around 3000 species of snakes that are known while the unknown species remain.

  • Snakes are carnivorous and their lifestyle is solitary

  • Snakes come under Reptilia aka reptiles. These animals are cold-blooded, they have scales all over their body and they breathe through their lungs.

  • A lot of reptiles have a three-chambered heart while a crocodile has a four-chambered heart.

  • Reptiles lay eggs having tough coverings; unlike amphibians, they do not lay their eggs in water.

  • Along with snakes, turtles, lizards and crocodiles also fall under the category of reptiles.

  • The top speed of a snake is 20 mph and its life span extends up to 30 years.

  • A normal snake weighs up to 150 kgs or 330 Lbs.

  • Of the 3800 species of snakes that are present only 600 of them have venomous fangs out of which only 200 have the ability to harm a human.

  • Snakes have teeth however they do not chew their food and they swallow the whole food no matter how big it is.

  • Snakes can be found anywhere on the earth but not in Antarctica.

  • The longest living snake on the earth Is a 62 years old female who lives in Missouri.

The scientific name of snakes is serpentes. These creatures are easily noticeable as they have an unusually elongated body that looks like a head with a long tail from the top. Despite not having arms or legs their bodies are extremely strong and they use their body strength for multiple purposes. Snakes Are closely related to lizards which also come under the category of reptiles. Nowadays we can see that many people keep snakes as pets, snakes do not have any eyelids or ear holes. Snakes are also known by other terms such as a serpent which is a common term for a snake.

The Appearance of a Snake-

Snakes come under the category of a reptile and they do not have legs however some of the legless reptiles fall out of the category of snakes. The structure of a snake is of a head continued with a tail which is the entire length of their body. The shortest snake on the earth ever measured is 4.1 inches for example Barbados thread snake, and the longest snake ever measured is over 20 feet long for example a python.


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FAQs on Scientific Name of Snake

1. What is the Scientific Name of Snake?

The scientific name of snakes is serpentes. These creatures are easily noticeable as they have an unusually elongated body that looks like a head with a long tail from the top.to know more about snakes go visit Vedantu’s website and get the latest information regarding various reptiles.

2. List Out Some of the Interesting Facts About the Snakes?

Snakes are very interesting reptiles. It is important that everyone should know few interesting facts about snakes.

  • Snakes are cold-blooded, limbless reptiles and vertebrates and they lay eggs and are known to have scaly skin throughout their body. 

  • Most of the snakes shed their skin when they outgrow their current size. 

  • Snakes have the biggest family in reptiles. There are around 3,789 species of snakes all over the world making them the second-largest group of reptiles after the lizards. They have around 30 main families and numerous subfamilies.

  • Snakes are found everywhere except Antarctica, all small islands, and few large islands such as Ireland, Iceland, and New Zealand.

  • We all know that reptiles lay eggs and snakes been reptile is often considered that all the snakes lay eggs. Well, not all snakes lay eggs as only 70 percent of the snakes lay eggs while the rest 30 don’t. This is due to the fact that snakes live in a cold climate and laying eggs in a cold climate would not guarantee the survival of the eggs. 

  • Another unique feature of the snakes is the absence of eyelids. They don’t have to blink and have to sleep with their eyes open. Instead of eyelids, a thin membrane called a brille is attached to their eyes to protect them. 

  • Snakes have five forms of locomotion. It is to adapt to the changes in the environment.

  • Snakes do not have nostrils to smell as a result that they have evolved to smell through their tongues.

3. What are the two types of snakes?

There are two types of snakes called venomous and non-venomous snakes. Some venomous snakes are as follow- 

  • Indian cobra-Naja Naja 

  • King Cobra – Ophiophagus Hannah

  • Banded Krait – Bungarus caeruleus

  • Russell’s Viper – Daboia russelii

  • saw-scaled pitless viper - Echis carinata

  • African black mamba - Dendroaspis polylepis

  • Coral snake – Callophis

Some non-venomous snakes are as follows-

  • Indian python or the Rock python- Python molurus

  • Red Sand Boa or the John’s Snad Boa - Eryx johnii

  • Common watersnake - Nerodia sipedon 

  • Burnese python - Python bivittatus 

  • Common worm or the blind snake - Ramphotyphlops 

  • Rat snakes - Ptyas 

  • Green whip snake - Dryophis 

4. Where can I find important facts and information about snakes?

The important facts and important information about snakes can be found on vedantu‘s website, The study notes provided by Vedanta’s expert teachers have been researched thoroughly and these expert researchers have years of experience in this field and they have curated the latest information and latest important facts that concern reptiles and snakes. The information on snakes can be accessed by visiting Vedanta’s website; the link is easily available and The material can be downloaded for free in a PDF format.

5. How do snakes behave?

While hunting for food, reptiles, especially snakes develop an incredible sense of smell. They use their tongue to sense the chemicals in the air which tell them how near their prey is, there are some snakes that detect the body heat of their prey and this ability is built inside them. The two most important components in the catching of the prey are constriction and venom. Since snakes are cold-blooded reptiles they need to keep their body warm in order to stay alive and therefore to choose the right environmental conditions in which their body is kept warm. Often snakes allow sunlight to help keep their body warm however they still need to cool off and therefore hide in some dark places.

6. What are some common types of snakes?

 Some common types of snakes are –

  • Pythons: pythons are a total of 42 species; they are mostly found in parts of Asia, Australia and Africa. Python is considered as the most dangerous snake there are some of them are called ambush predators as they have the ability to camouflage and strike as the prey appears.

  • Elapids:  another name for elapids is cobras. Their main characteristic is that they have erect venomous fangs. They are mostly terrestrial or aquatic.

  • Rattlesnakes: rattlesnakes are mostly common in the American continent and their main characteristic is the rattle at the end of the tales.


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