Do Snakes Have Legs?

No, snakes do not have legs. They are limbless reptiles characterized by their elongated bodies and lack of limbs. While some reptiles, such as lizards, have limbs, snakes have a limbless body structure. Their bodies are highly specialized for their unique mode of locomotion through a combination of muscular contractions and scale movement. Instead of legs, snakes have a series of vertebrae and muscles that allow them to slither and move efficiently across various terrains.

However, there are reptiles called a legless lizard or glass lizards which have small legs and may seem like snakes, nevertheless, despite their similar appearance to snakes, these reptiles belong to a different group called anguimorphs. Legless lizards are distinguished from true snakes by a few key characteristics:

  1. Eyes: Legless lizards typically have eyelids, while snakes have a transparent scale called a spectacle, which covers and protects their eyes.

  2. External Ears: Legless lizards may have small holes on the sides of their heads, indicating the presence of external ear openings, while snakes lack external ears altogether.

  3. Body Shape: Legless lizards often have a more cylindrical body shape compared to the more elongated and slender bodies of most snakes.

  4. Tail Autotomy: Some legless lizards possess a unique defense mechanism called tail autotomy, where they can voluntarily shed their tails to escape from predators. Snakes, on the other hand, cannot voluntarily shed their tails.

It’s important to note that not all legless lizards have arms or legs. Some species retain small, non-functional limbs or tiny vestigial remnants of limbs, while others lack any visible limbs altogether.

Never trust a man who speaks well of everybody. – John Churton Collins