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[Animal Facts]    [Snake Index]    [Activities]    [Facts]    [Photos]

 

It is hard to believe that snakes have bones.
It's hard to believe snakes have bones
when they can get this twisted
up but they do!

Photo Source:  National Geographic Photo Gallery 
Photographer:  Bates Littlehales

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BODY OF A SNAKE

In case you were wondering (cause they are soooo flexible), snakes actually do have bones.  Animals with bones are know as vertebrates -- snakes are vertebrates. 

A snake's backbone is made up of many vertebrae attached to ribs.  Humans have approximately 33 vertebrae and 24 ribs.  Snakes have between 200-400 vertebrae with as many ribs attached! That is what makes them so flexible and helps them move along!

All those bones and the strong muscles protect the internal organs.  The throat of the snake takes up the front one-third of the body.  It leads to a really long stomach, which, like the throat, will stretch to the size of whatever the snake is eating. 

Snakes also have two long lungs, a long liver, kidneys and intestines.  The last quarter of the snake has a small anal opening (they have to poop, you know!) covered by a scale called the anal plate, and the rest is tail made up of more bone. 

 




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