Related topics: lizards

Four-metre king cobra wrestled from sewer in Thailand

A feisty four-metre (13-foot) king cobra was pulled from a sewer in southern Thailand in an hour-long operation, a rescue foundation said Tuesday, describing the reptile as one of the largest they had ever captured.

Tropical sea snake uses its head to 'breathe'

Humans use a snorkel and fish have gills. Now researchers have found a sea snake which uses a complex system of blood vessels in its head to draw in extra oxygen when it dives and swims underwater.

How to handle wildlife in your yard

I heard a local story of a man who, in his excitement to kill a rattlesnake, used the only thing he had available—his thermos bottle. The next scene in this drama has the man in the hospital receiving anti-venom to treat ...

WHO unveils plan to tackle global snakebite 'emergency'

The World Health Organization on Thursday unveiled a new strategy to dramatically cut deaths and injuries from snakebites, warning a dearth of antivenoms could soon spark a "public health emergency".

Heatwave devastates wildlife populations in World Heritage Site

Large numbers of dugongs, sea snakes and other marine animals disappeared from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shark Bay, Western Australia, after a heat wave devastated seagrass meadows, according to recently released research.

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Snake

Snakes are elongate legless carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Like lizards, from which they evolved, they have loosely articulated skulls and most can swallow prey much larger than their own head. In order to accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca.

Living snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica. Fifteen families are currently recognized comprising 456 genera and over 2,900 species. They range in size from the tiny, 10 cm long thread snake to pythons and anacondas of up to 7.6 m (25 ft) in length. The recently discovered fossil Titanoboa was 13 m or 43 ft long. Snakes are thought to have evolved from either burrowing or aquatic lizards during the Cretaceous period (c 150 Ma). The diversity of modern snakes appeared during the Paleocene period (c 66 to 56 Ma).

Most species are non-venomous and those that have venom use it primarily to kill and subdue prey rather than for self-defense. Some possess venom potent enough to cause painful injury or death to humans.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA