Not being the only animal with no feet, no doubt snakes are the most excellent reptile without feet. Then how can snakes move so freely, quickly and smartly? That’s because snakes have locomotive organs all over the body, so they can move freely although they are long. Snakes have many backbones, around 100 to 500, short and broad, each one of which is connected with muscles and scales. The adjacent backbones can form a fluctuation of 28 degrees and a swing of 50 degrees. With these two combined, snakes’ unique winding function comes into being. In addition, snakes have a group of muscles on each side of its spinal column and when one group is in contraction, the other one is in relaxation. The wavelike motion can be spread from head to tail and then tail to head. With no obstacles during the process, this wavelike motion can be spread through the whole body. However, when the ground is uneven, bumpy or narrow, snakes’ motion is influenced and they move forward under the press produced at the point where snakes’ body touches the ground. So on smooth glass or tile floors, snakes are not so flexible. Besides, snakes’ backbones are limited in angles when they are in motion, and they will slow down when they change directions or turn around.
Snakes’ crawl velocity is a question concerned by many people. For most snakes, they can crawl at a highest speed of 1.5 km per hour. There are also several kinds of snakes, which move as fast as people at 6 km per hour. Garter snake moves very fast, while agkistrodon halys snake and erythema snake move quite slow.
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