Snakes are covered with scales, many times of various colors. As humans shed some of their skin, the snakes also shed their outer skin many times during the year. This is called molting. The snakes finds a stone or twig to rub up against and then pushes and pulls against it until the skin comes off.
The snake is one reptile that has no legs. It makes up for this by its scales on the underside of its body called scutes. It also has very strong muscles that help it move. They can move in curves from side to side or up and down. Snakes move quite slowly compared to other animals. The fastest they can move is several miles per hour.
The snake has no eyelids, but has a transparent covering to the eye to protect it. Some have round eye pupils and some have oval pupils. The snake has a long forked tongue that it uses to smell things with.
The snake has a very big mouth with two rows of teeth on each side of its upper jaw and one row on its lower jaw. The teeth, however, are not used for chewing, but to hold onto its prey. The snake eats its prey whole. The teeth slant backward to push the prey back into the snake. Its jaws stretch very far open so that the snake can take in animals bigger than itself.
Snakes solely eat animals. Many snakes such as the garter snake open their mouths and swallow their prey whole. Others such as the boa and python, wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze it to death. They snakes are usually larger and more powerful. Snakes such as the rattlesnake, water moccasin, cobra, copperhead and coral snake, have huge fangs that poison in them. These snakes attack their prey and the hollow fangs fill with poison from poison glands around the fangs. The prey dies and the snake eats it.
A few snakes such as the garter snake have live birth. Most snakes lay eggs that contain food for the young snake.
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