As snakes are so flexible and their body is too elastic that allows them to devour prey larger than them, it will not be unusual for other people to think that they don't have bones. However, snakes are vertebrae, which means that they have bones. As a matter of fact, they have more bones compared to humans. Their bones provide them with the strength to restrain their prey and form the structure of their body.
A Guide on the Snakes Skeletal System
The skeleton of the snake is primarily composed of their skulls, ribs, and vertebrae. Snakes are using hundreds of bones in their body to move fluidly. Their spines are considerably large, and they have a unique skull. They are armed with hundreds of ribs that are intended to protect their internal organs. For the constrictors, they will need the help of their bones to suffocate their prey.
· Skull- Snakes have a very intricate skull structure. It comes with different joints that enable the creatures to swallow prey that is bigger than their size. It features an ossified braincase with frontal bones. The parietal bones extend down to the basis phenoid and run to the rostrum up to the ethmoidal section. The nose comes with nasal bones attached to the base. There will be differences or modifications depending on the genera of the snakes. Some snakes will not conform to a particular category.
· Ribs and Vertebrae- Snake's vertebral column that is attached to the ribs. We humans will have approximately 24 ribs and 33 vertebrae. However, the snakes will have a 200-400 collection of vertebrae. This feature helps them become flexible and allows them to move through virtually any type of surface. It also protects their internal organs, from their lungs, intestines, kidneys, and liver.
How Can Snakes Eat Large Prey?
Once the snake has managed to catch its prey, you are probably wondering how it can manage to swallow a whole prey. To understand this, you will have to look at the bone structure of this animal. Most skulls will be made up of two parts; the mandible and cranium. There will also be the maxilla or the upper jaw, but for most animals, this will be attached to their cranium that forms one large structure. The mandible and cranium will be held together by ligament, which provides us strength when we are chewing our food. However, it also restricts the movement of our jaw.
On the contrary, the snakes will highlight several tiny bones that split the upper and lower jaw apart. Ligaments also hold their skulls, but it does not restrict their movement. It enables the snake's jaw to stretch in all directions and be ultra-flexible, making it easy to devour large prey. Snakes can move the right and left side of their jaw independently. By only moving one of their jaws forward while the other is tightly gripping on the food, they can gradually move the prey inside their belly. Therefore, they will not detach their jaw when devouring a prey.
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