Do a quick search for “snakes” in the news and you’ll find people terrified, bitten or, sadly, killed by these creatures. Many of us fear their slithering ways and researchers have found evidence which suggests that humans have evolved a tendency to spot snakes more easily than other animals.
But there are more than 3,500 species of snake in the world, and they have been around for 167 million years—so they must be doing something right.
Although it seems strange to us, snakes’ lack of legs mean they have evolved numerous fantastic techniques to survive, making ingenious use of their cylindrical forms.
1. Some snakes can travel in straight lines
The majority of snakes bend their spines and exert force on the ground, trees, or water with the bends in their body or the edges of their coils to move. But some can travel in a perfectly straight line. Until recently, it was a mystery how they accomplished this, but new research demonstrates that Boa constrictors and other heavy bodied snakes use their belly scales like a tire tread to seamlessly progress in a straight line.