Snakes and Evolution
September 4, 2013
Snakes are reptiles that have been on Earth for over millions of years. Snakes are a peculiar creature because the true origin of snakes is unknown. The delicacy of their structure allows for error in fossil records, because many of the first fossil records of snakes are incomplete skeletons. A fact known to be true is that snakes were legged vertebrates. The structure of a snake may be complex, but it is suited for survival. This fact changes factors such as food, shelter and survival, thus the evolution of snakes. Fossil records of snakes date back to the crustaceous period. This era signified the end of dinosaurs but there is evidence of snake life in
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The skulls have no temporal opening. Snakes are also similar to lizards because of features in the structure of their skull; both, for instance, possess a moveable quadrate bone at the back of the jaw, and both are missing the quadratojugal bone at the rear of the skull. Snakes can also lay eggs like many other reptiles however; some snakes can also have live births. The structure of a snake is perfect for the way it lives. Snakes do not possess external ears, so the ability to hear does aid a snake. Although a snake cannot hear, it can feel vibrations of moving objects or animals surrounding them. It has not been proven whether snakes evolved from land or sea, but because snakes do not have gills they can stay underwater for hours taking the oxygen from water it swallows. However, snakes cannot live in water because it will need oxygen from the air to survive. Most snakes that burrow underground are usually blind due to the dirt and sediment. As in any creature a snake sheds its old, dead skin to allow them to grow and rid themselves of parasites. In the days leading to shedding snakes are very vulnerable. Excess fluid between the old skin and new skin causes a discoloration in the eyes, temporarily blinding the snake. Once the process of shedding has begun a snake will hide to protect itself during this vulnerable time. The last process of evolution concerning a snake is its diet.