Snakes – long, slithering tubes of flesh and scales with incredible abilities. Laden with incredible abilities, how long have these creatures actually been around?
Apparently, snakes have been around for millions of years. According to researchers, snakes have been around since the middle early Cretaceous period which is about 128 million years ago. This means they were slithering around the feet of dinosaurs.
Scientists believe the first ever snake was a nocturnal predator which actually had tiny hind limbs complete with ankles and toes.
While dinosaurs died out around 66 million years ago, these slippery hunters thrived with no more predators around to eat their pray. The snakes found themselves with a plethora of birds, fish and other small mammals to chow down on.
Finding the clitoris in snakes:
Due to this new diverse diet, snakes were also able to diversify, adapting to all kinds of different environments. You can now find snakes on every continent except for Antarctica and a handful of islands including Greenland, Iceland, Hawaiian archipelago, Ireland and our next-door neighbours New Zealand.
While their history is undoubtedly fascinating, it’s their long list of incredible abilities and characteristics that are really interesting. For example, did you know that snakes are one of the only reptiles that have fangs?
“Fangs are modified teeth that are either grooved so that the venom is directed down them kind of like a water slide, or they’re tubular with the venom running through a canal inside of the teeth like a needle,” Cosmos Magazine journalist Imma Perfetto said.
You might be wondering if venom runs through and along their fangs, how do they avoid poisoning themselves?
“Neurotoxins have a positive charge and are usually attracted towards molecules with a negative charge like the ones you’d find in these receptors,” Imma said.
“So, some snakes have evolved a different, positively charged molecule called lysine in the place of the normal receptor amino acid.
“This means that both molecules are positively charged and they repel each other, like trying to force the same polls of two magnets together.”
Cosmos Magazine journalist Imma Perfetto takes us through some of the most fascinating facts about snakes including why they don’t suffocate themselves when they constrict and where the elusive snake clitoris can be found.
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