Classifications of Snakes and Reptiles

Reptiles are some of the oldest living creatures on earth and made their first appearance some 300 million years ago. It is thought that the first species of snakes comprised limbs which became increasingly more reduced through great periods of time, this phenomenon is seen as a indicator just how evolution occurred within several microorganisms. Today vestigial constructions occur using serpent individuals such as Pythonidae and Boidae, and are remnants of set ups they once possessed. Spurs which occur in the posterior position opposite the cloacae in Boas and Pythons is a definite example of vestigial structures that created through time.

Snakes are carnivorous reptiles that participate in the order Squamata (Lepidosuaria), which is regarded the most important assemblage, as far as snakes are worried. Squamates is a very diverse group of ectothermic (organisms that rely on their exterior environment to obtain the energy had a need to aid metabolic and other operations crucial forever), amniote vertebrates that have the distinct attribute to be elongated and covered in overlapping scales. Squamata is subdivided into three different suborders: Ophidia or Serpentes, formulated with snakes, Sauria including lizards and Amphisbaenia formulated with worm- lizards.

The suborder Ophidia includes 15 families which can be subdivided into 456 genera that consist of more than 2900 varieties. Snakes have one of the widest distributional runs in the pet kingdom, within the whole entire world except Antarctica (Shape 1. 1). In South Africa by itself there occurs 166 species and subspecies of snakes, 101 of these species have enlarged fangs to deliver venom of which only 15 are thought to be very dangerous and probably fatal to man. Which means that of most our snake kinds only 8. 5% are labeled as dangerous, where supervision of antivenin is regarded as necessary. The rest of venomous varieties is of no medical importance to man, in simple fact in some species the toxicity of these venom is less than that found in bees and wasps.

There are a few morphological characteristics of Ophidia which distinguishes them from the other two suborders e. g. the lack of eyelids, exterior ears, the lack of limbs and the incident of an individual row of ventral scales, whereas lizards and amphisbaenas fluctuate in the sense that they have various habits of scales that not take place in specific rows. Amphisbaenians level development is atypical in the sense that scales are set up in rows around the body of the animal thus supposedly mimicking the resemblance of an earthworm. The skulls of Serpents are incredibly unique in the sense that their top jaw bone fragments aren't united/interconnected at snout of the animal, this enables both jaw bones to act separate form one another and enables the snake to swallow large prey items. In contrary to public opinion snakes can however not dislocate or unhinge their jaws to swallow large prey items, the two upper jaws are simply just connected to each other through connective tissues which is highly stretchy and serves as the binding factor between the jaws.

Snakes fulfill an essential role/function in mother nature and can be seen as an intrinsic aspect of the environment both as key predators and since prey. They help out with regulating rodent numbers and are good indicators of the natural balance of the environment (bio-indicators). Furthermore, research and development is being done on the properties of venom in the medical field. Research is being conducted on the applications of venom in areas such as high blood pressure, mental disorders and diseases of the central stressed system to mention but a few. Such is the intricacy of venom that further studies, good for man, are crucial. It really is there for crucial that we save our snakes not only for the preservation of our environment, also for the wellbeing of mankind.

Evolution that occurred within the Class Reptilia

Reptiles progressed from prehistoric amphibians called Labrynthodonts (Flank, 1997), and relating to paleontologists made their first appearance in the Pennsylvanian time some 300 million years ago. They were also the first vertebrates to escape dependency on water. The earliest varieties of reptiles suggested a mixture of both amphibian and reptilian characteristics, and varied greatly over the next 200 million years. Reptiles were the dominating animal group on earth during the Mesozoic period, and were symbolized by 15 major groupings. Only 4 of the orders survive today. Extinct will be the fishlike Ichtyosaurus, sail-backed Pelycosaurs, flying Pterosaurs, Mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, well-known dinosaurs like Brachiosaurs and many more. The dinosaurs included the major animals ever to walk on earth-the Sauropods, a few of them reaching measures of almost 27 meters long. Many of the less familiar dinosaurs were no more than hens. (Carr, 1963)

Several basic developments permitted the climb and wide syndication of reptiles on land. Most significant was the amniote egg, with its tough outer covering and protective membranes, and a cornified skin that covered the family pets from drying out. The placement of the limbs also managed to get easy for reptiles to move easier on land, and an improved circulatory system ensured that oxygen rich blood come to the pets or animals.

In their Mesozoic heyday, Reptiles dominated the land, seas and air, and the reason for their dramatic decrease during this time period is still not yet determined, although there are some speculation by biologists that the drop was probably caused by a meteor bathtub which modified a dramatic change in local climate and giving rise to the so called Glaciers Time. Warm blooded vertebrates (Wild birds and Mammals) started to expand by the finish of the Mesozoic period. By enough time the Cenozoic period arose only 4 orders of reptiles still been around, and these same four have persisted even today. The order Rhynchocephalia is symbolized by only 1 species, the lizzardlike, granular scaled Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) limited to New Zealand where its survival is currently threatened. The remaining 3 orders have representatives throughout the world. The order Testudines (turtles) is the most old, appearing about 250 million years back and remaining nearly unchanged for the past 200 million years. The order Crocodylia (crocodilians) is somewhat less ancient and it is traceable to the Permian thecodonts. The order Squamata refers to scaled reptiles including lizards, amphisbaenids and snakes. This is actually the most recent order and had not been common until the past due Cretaceous times about 65 million years back.

In order to classify snakes or other organisms it's important to understand the foundation and advancement of the species and place them into specific genera and families (Amount 1. 2)

Scientists assume that present day snakes developed from the family Varanidae, a group of lizards that participate in the genus Veranus. The fossils of Lapparentophis defrennei (Amount 1. 3) was found in North Africa as we realize it today, and it symbolizes the earliest member of the suborder Ophidia. This kinds however shows no direct link between earlier snake like reptiles, and its own origin continues to boggle biologists. Lapparentophis defrennei made an appearance on the planet earth around 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period and were around for about 35 million years, were after it acquired extinct by the finish of the Cretaceous period. Boidae was one of the seven families of snakes that arose after the Cretaceous period and was at its optimum of speciation during this time. Colubridae in present day times is the family that contains the major amount of different snake species, and first surfaced some 36 million years back during the late Eocene, and the start of the Oligocene period. During this time Colubrids began to diversify at an immense rate and finally gave go up to more new types during the Miocene period. This diversification resulted in the disappearance of a few of a lot more primitive lineages of snakes because they could no more compete with the better designed types that was beginning to evolve. Viperidae (vipers, rattle snakes and adders) and Elapidae (forward fixed fang snakes generally cobras and mambas and their family) originated through the Miocene period and belongs to the infraorder Alethinophidia. The family Viperidae is by far the most advanced evolved varieties of snake on the globe and contains highly specialized constructions that allow them to be a very successful hunters e. g. heating- delicate pits that developed on top of the labial and a brightly colored tail idea that occur in Agkistrodon sp. This is merely one of these of how professional this family of serpents is to make it through.

Distinguising top features of the suborder Ophidia

All snakes are elongated, shortage eyelids, external ears and osteoderms.

Snakes poses a forked tongue that can be retracted into a sheath (Body 2. 1)

All have along backbone. (Some have more than 400 vertebrae), with many articulated ribs used mostly for locomotion and preserving body shape.

The lower jaw is not fused, that allows the snake to engulf large items. They are doing however not dislocate their jaw.

Prey is subdued either by constriction or by the treatment of venom. Regarding venomous snakes small prey items are bitten and kept in the mouth area until paralysis or death occurs, whereas large prey items are bitten and released to ensure that destruction do not occur to the snake.

The most varieties have only the right lung but more primitive species such as Pythonidae and Boidae also includes a rudimentary remaining lung.

Unlike lizards the tail can't be regenerated.

All snakes shed their skin area.

All snakes hatch from eggs, some are Oviparous (eggs hatch outside the females body), plus some are ovoviviparous (eggs hatch inside the mothers body thus giving birth to have young).

Classification of snakes

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Ophidia (Serpentes)

Infraorders: -Alethinophidia


The classification of snakes derive from different morphological structures

The general morphology of snakes is a crucial factor used in their Taxonomy. Factors like the arrangement of bone fragments in the skull and other parts of the skeleton, especially the presence or absence of a pelvic girdle are used to tell apart between independent and subspecies of snakes. The hypapohyses (vertebrae with downward pointing spike like projections), the coronoid bone (a little bone that occur in the low jaw), constructions of the hemipenes (Figure 2. 2, Jadin, 2000) and microscopic and biochemical materials such as chromosome layout and health proteins analyses are also used in classification of snakes.

The presence or lack hypapohyses, especially in the lumbar region of the spinal column, is used united of several diagnostic personas when classifying snakes. The hypapohyses is very prominent in the genus Dasypeltis which use them too found trough egg shells. There occurs much variation in the form and size of the coronoid bone. It really is particularly large in primitive snakes such as Typhlopidae, Leptotyphlopidae and Anomalepididae. The coronoid bone is very small or absent totally in advanced snake species. A hemipenis is the love-making body organ of male Squamates. Men snakes has two hemipenes probably for the reason that when some may be damaged or wounded, it quit with a spare the one that can remain to work and perform its normal function during copulation. This ensures that the male's genes don't get lost and can still be transported over through copulation with females. Hemipenes, under normal conditions are used within an alternating fashion when copulation occurs with female individuals. Sperm is taken through the sulcus spermaticus (which is the series running through the middle of a male's hmipenis) to the female during copulation. By evaluating the tail of a person we are able to distinguish its love-making. Males will often have a long tail which contains visible bulges of where in fact the hemipenes are situated and females usually have very brief tails without the incident of any visible bulges. The designs of hemipenes are different greatly from varieties to types and contain different cranial constructions thus forming a very important way for taxonomists to classify snakes into different species and subspecies. Interactions that appear between different kinds of Squamates consequently of evolution is best discussed through the examination hemipenal characteristics of the different varieties. The function of the spines and ridges occurring on hemipenes of different species of men snakes, serves as an adaption to ensure that copulation will last long enough for egg fertilization that occurs.


Hearing and Vision

Snakes cannot hear airborne sounds because of the fact that they don't posses exterior ears. Snakes do however produce an auditory nerve permitting them to hear sounds travelling by having a dense medium. They are extremely sensitive to vibrations and can thus find someone or something getting close them. For this reason people hardly ever see snakes whilst walking in the bush, the snake senses the vibrations created by footsteps and beats a hasty retreat for cover. You can find however snakes that not retreat when approached and this is the result of the morphological capabilities they contain. Bitis arietans, Bitis atropos and, Bitis gabonica, are varieties of snakes that somewhat rely on their camouflage to conceal them from potential predators and potential issues than to move away, and it is not surprising to determine that Bitis arietans is responsible for 60% of all snake bites in Southern Africa. Contrary to popular believe snakes do have good eyesight. How else would they carefully find their way through the bush except of course via smell? Their eyesight however is used mainly for discovering motion. Most snakes have monocular vision (struggling to identify depth of field) whilst some snakes have binocular eye-sight (able to separate depth of field) e. g. Thelotornis capensis and Dispholidus typus. Snakes do not have movable eyelids, instead they possess a fixed transparent shield which includes the eye and is also shed during sloughing.

Sense of smell

For this function the snake uses its tongue. The tongue is flickered; picking right up minute airborne particles which when retracted back into the oral cavity is deposited onto organs located in the roof top of the mouth. These organs are known as the organs of Jacobson. Studies have shown that snakes enjoys an identical sense of smell even as we do, the epithelium of the organs of Jacobson works in a similar way as the olfactory epithelium we as humans possess. The tongue is forked so the snake can detect the dissimilarities in durability of smell and thus enabling it to locate its prey very accurately. Snakes diet involves quite a few victim items such as: rats, mice, small mammals, birds, frogs, toads, insects, lizards, seafood, small antelope, eggs and other snakes, which is swallowed entire usually head first.


Shedding of skin area depends mostly on the progress rate. Juveniles for example shed their pores and skin more often than individuals for the simple reason they are growing faster. Juveniles may shed their skin as often as twelve times a year whereas a grown-up may only shed its pores and skin 3 to 4 times each year. In this process the whole pores and skin is shed from the end of the snout through to the tail including the eye shields. During this time the snakes eye become opaque, restricting the snake's vision and therefore making the snake not only more susceptible, but also more extreme. A snake may often get into hiding during this time period. You may even find snakes basking for longer periods prior to shedding, the reason being higher temperature speeds up the development of new skin, thus minimizing the vulnerability period.

Cold Blooded - (Ectothermic) and Hibernation

All participants of the order Squamata are so called wintry blooded (exothermic) microorganisms. This simply means that unlike mammals and parrots which generate heating internally (endothermic), reptiles obtain their warmth externally, usually from sunlight. All reptiles will bask in sunlight absorbing heat of their environment until their body reach the right optimal temperature (± 30C) which allows them to operate at their maximum probable. The benefit of ectothermy is that it's petrol efficient. Mammals on the other hands convert 90% of what they eat into heating in order to maintain biochemical and muscle efficiency that allows mammals the possibility to function at colder temperature. This method calls for a constant diet. Reptiles however become briefly dormant at colder heat and thus spend no energy. A snake can survive and develop on ten to fifteen foods each year. Reptiles will get into hibernation when their maximum body temperature cannot be achieved from the surroundings. In areas where there's a significant fluctuation in heat range snakes will go into hibernation. The right term used is topor. Areas such as the lowveld where there is absolutely no significant temperature modifications will see reptiles not going into true hibernation but rather into a state of burmation. During hibernation snakes live off the body fat accumulated during the warm times of the summer, and will show very little symptoms of activity, thus becoming sluggish. A snake will use anything that will offer you it coverage against the elements and predation. Sites which are being used by Squamates through the winter or cold times of the entire year for hibernation include deserted termite mounds, hollow logs and rock crevices.


Sexually active men will tackle any snake they come across. The reaction of the approached snake will regulate how the encounter produces. If the approached snake is a male and reacts aggressively it may bring about a battle between your two parties. Fights vary matching to kinds, Vipers and Elapids generally take part in a form of ritualistic wrestling, but refrain themselves from biting each other. Colubrids however respond violently and bite one another severely. In some types of snakes several males group mutually amicably and follow a receptive woman. Should there be no reaction from the approached snake the sexually productive guy uses its Vermonasal body organ to chemically determine the species and sex of the snake they have approached. It can so by using its tongue interpreting the pheromones emitting from the other snake. Should it be of the different types, the man then seeks out a new mate.

All reptiles have internal fertilization. The male places his at once the trunk of the feminine and winds his tail around the females and tries to join their cloacas jointly. This is hardly ever achieved at the first try out. It sometimes will take hours, even times, for successful copulation to occur. The sexual organs of the male consist of two penises, referred to as the hemipenes. Each hemipene has versatile spines which inflate once penetration has happened making it problematic for the male and female snakes to be dislodged. Sperm is transferred to the female with a single manhood in Crocodilians and Chelonians, and matched penises in lizards and snakes (although only one penis is employed at the same time). Once mating has occurred the male will often stay with the female for a couple of days to partner again.

Fertilization of the ovule and spermatozoid occurs saturated in the oviduct, then your egg gradually goes into the oviduct where in fact the uterine glands secrete a product which surrounds the egg. The length of the embryonic development is determined by the kinds and also within the kinds depending on weather (temperature), and runs from 2-5 calendar months.

As mentioned before all snakes hatch from eggs. The method of incubation however does indeed differ between some varieties. The majority of snakes lay eggs andleave them to be incubated externally (oviviparous) without parental care whatsoever. Species such as Python natalensis coils around their eggs throughout incubation. This not only shields the eggs but also regulates the temps to help help with incubation. In other varieties such as Hemachatus haemachatus the feminine keeps the eggs inside her body to create completely developed live young (viviparous).

Between four to eight weeks after mating the female selects the right site to deposit her eggs. The site chosen is generally a suitably guarded place in the form of rotting vegetation, hollow tree trunks or any other suited location. The number of eggs deposited depends on a number of circumstances for example, varieties, size of the female, habitat (option of food), era and climate. Eggs laid vary between one and two to as many as 60, sometimes more, depending on factors mentioned previously. Eggs usually have gentle leathery shells which require a specific amount of high temperature and humidity to be able to ensure that hatch. After the eggs have been laid there is certainly often no parental care and attention with the exception of a few types. In South Africa the young of Python natalensis may stay with the female for a number of days after hatching, departing the burrow by day and returning to the female at night.

In most reptiles the love-making of hatchlings depends upon temps, for example external eggs (much cooler) will be feminine while the interior eggs (warmer) within the nest will be male. The eggs usually hatch between someone to three months after the female has transferred them. In the case of some species of chameleons eggs usually takes up to a year to hatch. The young are equipped with an egg teeth comprising a pointed ridge on the end of the snout that allows the young to slit open the eggshell thus freeing itself. The young that emerges are exact replicas of the parents, and the hatchlings of venomous snakes include fully efficient venom glands and fangs, and are thus venomous immediately from delivery.

Egg mortality is quite high. Reasons for egg mortality range from predation to unsuitable nest sites chosen. Having a baby to reside young may be an evolutionary process to make sure the success of a species, reducing the risk of egg mortality in specifically cold areas where in fact the temperatures will not be sufficient enough for incubation.

The ability to operate at acceleration and strength is immediately related to the supply and amount of oxygenated blood vessels to the body. Reptiles, unlike mammals and birds, do not get as good supply of oxygenated blood. Immediately translated, which means that reptiles tire easier and are incapable of endurance. Based on these facts it is doubtful that the speed of an snake would surpass 20km/h which is much slower than the average human. The two fastest snake types world take place in Southern Africa and belongs to the genus Psammophis and Dendroaspis.

There are four basic modes of locomotion in snakes:

  • Sepentine - This is the more familiar approach to locomotion that a lot of snakes use e. g. the family Elapidae which makes use of this method. The body undulates from side to side as the hind area of the snake makes connection with the surface and all of those other body is forced in the path the snake needs going.
  • Caterpillar - These are usually heavy bodied snakes e. g. Bitis arietans. The snake advances in a primarily straight line using its ventral scales to propel it forwards.
  • Concertina - This is when a area of the person is anchored whilst moving ahead. The snake may anchor its head and then drags the rest of the body towards the head. This is observed in arboreal kinds when negotiating between smooth braches of trees and shrubs. Snakes that utilize this kind of locomotion usually support the attribute of keeled ventral scales, you need to include kinds of the genus Philothamnus.
  • Sidewinding - This technique is most observed in desert species. It's the most effective approach to locomotion on loose unstable areas such as sand. Just a few sections of your body are in contact with the surface at any given time. A section of your body is thrown sideways and is followed by the next section. This way of locomotion is seen as a particular adaption for desert types e. g. Bitis peringueyi, to ensure that they don't get burnt by the hot desert sand when moving.


Most people make reference to snakes as being damp or slimy, which is quite the in contrast. In fact if you touch a snake you will observe that it is in fact dried. Scales are horny pores and skin that originates from the snakes epidermis. The principal function of scales is to prevent rapid water reduction, an evolutionary process which includes allowed snakes to go onto land. Scales can be simple or keeled. Some snakes use their scales as a alert mechanism. By rubbing them mutually this creates a rasping audio that serves as a alert to would be predators. Dasypeltis scabra is a varieties of snake that occur in Southern Africa and which use this specific defensive device to ward of predators. The North American rattlesnakes rattle is also a good example of revised scales that created through evolution. Scales also help in the locomotion of snakes.

Scale matters remain one of the key methods in the id and classification between different varieties of snakes. There are four methods which may be used to properly identify a types via scale matters:

Head scales - That is done by keeping track of the upper and lower labials on each area, being attentive to which scales are in contact with the attention. Examine the nasal scales (single, semi-divided or completely divided). Count the amount of preocular and postocular scales and check whether a loreal shield exists. There also needs to be taken be aware of the preparations of scales that appear on the temples, and the occurrence of any fused scales. Observe the relative sizes of internasals, prefrontals, frontal and parietals, and also take note the proportions and form of the rostral scales at the front end of the nostril.

Dorsal scales - Take note if the scales are soft or keeled. And one mind length from head and before the cloaca

Subcaudal scales - The first range is the solitary or paired level that satisfies the lateral scales on both sides. Count back over the tail for the conical tip. Take note whether scales or anal shields are solitary or divided as this varieties a crucial part of the id between different groups of snakes.

Internal Anatomy of Snakes

A snakes' skull is specifically designed to suit their specialised feeding habits. Because a snake cannot chew up its food and must swallow it complete it's important that the snake be able to open its oral cavity very wide. For this reason the fifty strange bone fragments in the skull are not fused alongside one another, instead these are loosely linked to the other person by ligaments which allows the snake to produce an enlarged gape and can swallow prey much larger than its brain. The concept is similar to an rubber band. Often after a snake has eaten it will seem to be to yawn, this is performed simply to relax the ligaments and bone fragments t their original shape. The structure of the snake's brain is nearly the same as that of a bird, but unlike birds and mammals snakes lack the enlarged cerebral hemispheres. In mammals (and parrots) the cerebral is the part of the brain, which acts as the learning middle of the organism. Because of this, although snakes are correctly adapted to the surroundings, it is appropriate to state that snakes aren't very intelligent. To permit snakes to engulf such large prey whole the belly should be very strong and elastic allowing it to increase greatly once prey is engulfed. Powerful digestive juices permit the snake to absorb bone and teeth.

Because a snake is generally long and cylindrical, the condition of the lung must be slightly different in order to fit inside the snakes' body. The right lung is usually the most significant and stretches for 1/3 of snakes body duration. The still left lung, in most cases is absent, or very small. Snakes have in place only 1 lung. During feeding the snake can expand a muscular extension of its windpipe (epiglottis) from underneath of its mouth area and can breathe while prey is being used.

Most reptiles have a primitive three chambered heart and soul which is not as effective as the four chambered center found in crocodiles (and mammals). In snakes air depleted bloodstream gets pumped into one of the top chambers while oxygenated blood gets pumped in to the other top chamber, both chambers get emptied into the bottom chamber and then circulated through your body. This is the main reason snakes wheel easily. In proportion with their body size snakes have very large kidneys. The kept kidney is situated behind the right kidney in the stomach region. The function of the kidney is to filter the waste products from the bloodstream and move them on to the cloaca for excretion. Unlike mammals which excrete nitrogen waste materials by means of normal water soluble urea, snakes excrete these body wastes as crystals which sorts a dried up white paste which is excreted along with the feaces. This enables reptiles to be extremely efficient in their use of water. Mammals have a separate urinary, reproductive and rectal opening. Snakes however do not. Instead they have a common chamber known as the cloaca which does each one of these rudimentary functions. Waste material is stored in the cloaca until eliminated. The claoca opens to the outside by way of a transverse slit at the base of the tail. It is often possible to inform the difference in sexes between types by looking at the space from the cloaca to the end of the tail. The longer the distance between these things would indicate the snake as being male whereas a brief distance between these points would show the snake to be female. The real reason for this is that during reproduction, as stated earlier, the guy wraps his tail throughout the females. Some snakes, like the Pythonidae family, have special glands which also bare into the cloaca, these glands contain a foul musky aroma which may be ejected whenever a snake is threatened, frightened or stressed.


There is not a easy describing venom. Simply put, snake venom is highly modified saliva which is made by modified saliva glands. Venom is a mixture of different enzymes, or protein, that take action on other chemicals and protein thus modifying them or simply breaking them down. Several proteins are harmless, but some are waste. The makeup of these toxins varies widely from kinds to species. Snakes venom can therefore be best referred to as a cocktail of hundreds of different protein and enzymes, this intricacy alone makes up about widely differing effects of snakebite. In essence venom influences the proteins and chemicals of the disease fighting capability and the blood vessels, transported through your body via the lymphatic system. The venom glands are located in the skull somewhat behind the eye.

In order for venom to work it should be injected in to the circulatory system. It is therefore quite safe for a normal healthy person to drink venom with no consequences. Venom cannot be in comparison to poison, and are completely different entities.

  • Venom must be injected (circulatory system)
  • Poison needs to be ingested (swallowed)

The functions of venom are numerous:

  • Prevents the putrification of victim prior to ingestion.
  • Immobilizes prey thus protecting against the snake from being wounded.
  • Digestive properties within the venom commence the digestive process prior to ingestion.
  • Snake venom is also antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal which protects the snake from microbial diseases which it could contract from victim.
  • As a last resort, self-defense when the snake is threatened.

There are three types of snake venom:

  1. Neurotoxic - nerve behaving venom (Elapidae).
  2. Cytotoxic - cel destroying venom (Viperidae. )
  3. Haemotoxic - blood vessels acting venom (Colubridae).

Fangs (Dentition)

All snakes have pearly whites, however, not all snakes have fangs. Most snakes have tooth on the top and lower jaws. Exceptions are blind snakes which lack tooth on the lower jaw no teeth on the top jaw instead of opposed to worm snakes which have teeth on the top jaws but no tooth on the low jaws. Fangs are modified teeth used to deliver venom. All snakes which have venom glands have fangs whilst non - venomous snakes haven't any fangs. Venomous snakes possess both teeth and fangs (on the upper jaw), whilst non - venomous snakes own only teeth, some are greatly reduced and serve no purpose just as the normal egg - eater (Dasypeltis scabra). Fangs and teeth are substituted at intervals throughout the snakes' life. Venomous snakes can be split into separate groups depending on location with their fangs. You can find three distinct sets of fangs (forward hinged fangs, Leading set snakes and again fanged snakes).

Snakes can be grouped into 4 communities depending on the dentition (teeth):

Aglyphs: The term "gluphe" is derived from Greek, meaning grooved or carved. So aglyph means without grooved or carved fangs. Snakes belonging to this group thus don't have the grooved fangs necessary to transport venom. These are non - venomous snakes. Types of aglyphs include Python natalensis, Pseudaspis cana and Meizodon semiornatus.

Opistoglyph: "Ophisto" means back of. This group contains the trunk or again fanged snakes with grooved fangs to transport venom. These are generally snakes that are contained within the family Colubridae. Dispholidus typus and Thelothornis capensis are examples of snakes which happen within this family of snakes. Like Elapids these snakes are also long and slim. Their fangs will be the smallest of the venomous snakes and are situated on the top jaw at the back of the mouth approximately just below the eye hence forth the name again fanged.

Proterioglyphs: "Proteros" means previous or forward. This group includes the fixed leading fanged snakes. These participate in the family Elapidae. This family mainly subsists of types such as Dendroaspis polylepis, Naja mossambica and Aspidelaps lubricus, which can be long and slim. Fangs are small and situated in the front of the mouth on the upper jaw. All Elapids somewhat distributed a hood, however, not all as distinctive as cobras, another feature is the fact they all support the characteristic of easy scales. All members of the family Elapidae have fangs and are venomous.

Solenoglyphs: "Soleno" so this means tube or sheathed. This group involves leading hinged fangs which are sheathed and folded back to the oral cavity. These snakes have usually the longest fangs amongst snakes. These snakes participate in the Viperidae (adders and vipers) family. Most adders are brief and seemingly compact. All have large erectile fangs situated in the front of the oral cavity on the upper jaw. When not used the fangs fold back within their sheaths resistant to the roofing of the oral cavity. Another distinguishing factor of the family Viperidae is that they are all venomous and also have keeled scales. Types of Viperidae include Bitis xeropaga, Bitis atropos and Bitis inornata.


Snakes are certainly one of the most misunderstood types of pets or animals that inhabits the earth. They are usually from the stigma of being the root of most evil and is also usually wiped out by individuals who is to ignorant to recognize their importance as ecological indications. Snakes become important bio-indicators as stated previously, playing an enormous role in managing rodent populations and other small mammals which might have unwanted effects on agricultural. Using areas where there occurs an lack of snakes you might usually find fewer rodents, as the snakes keep them at bay through predation, satisfying the role to be their main way to obtain food. Thus farmers can only just benefit from the presence of snakes in their barns, sheds fields etc. The existence of snakes in areas can be seen in a positive light, for they decrease the damage induced by rodents to vegetation and tools that are being used for the execution of a successful business dramatically. With great appreciation to snakes I could conclude that they are not just simply a sign of a healthy ecosystem, but also will serve an important role throughout the market of any land by protecting against the increased loss of an incredible number of rands that may occur as a result of a rodent plague.


  • More than 7,000 students prefer us to work on their projects
  • 90% of customers trust us with more than 5 assignments
submit a project

Latest posts

Read more informative topics on our blog
Shiseido Company Limited Is A Japanese Makeup Company Marketing Essay
Marketing Strength: Among the main talents of Shiseido is its high quality products. To be able to satisfy customers, the company invested a great deal...
Fail To Plan You Plan To Fail Management Essay
Management This report will concentrate on two aspects of project management, their importance within the overall project management process. The report...
Waste To Prosperity Program Environmental Sciences Essay
Environmental Sciences Urban and rural regions of India produce very much garbage daily and hurting by various kinds of pollutions which are increasing...
Environmental Studies Pollution Introduction Many people across the world can remember having walked on the street and seen smoke cigars in the air or...
Soft System Methodology
Information Technology Andrzej Werner Soft System Methodology can be described as a 7-step process aimed to help provide a solution to true to life...
Strategic and Coherent methods to Recruiting management
Business Traditionally HRM has been regarded as the tactical and coherent method of the management of the organizations most appreciated assets - the...
Enterprise Rent AN AUTOMOBILE Case Analysis Business Essay
Commerce With a massive network of over 6,000 local rental locations and 850,000 automobiles, Organization Rent-A-Car is the greatest rental car company...
The Work OF ANY Hotels Front Office Staff Travel and leisure Essay
Tourism When in a hotel there are careers for everyone levels where in fact the front office manager job and responsibilities,assistant professionals...
Strategy and international procedures on the Hershey Company
Marketing The Hershey Company was incorporated on October 24, 1927 as an heir to an industry founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey fiscal interest. The...
Check the price
for your project
we accept
Money back
100% quality