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 #1564059


CoffeeCreature
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 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

Iíve noticed that this question gets asked a lot, so here is my answer.

Lizards, including legless ones, have fixed jaws, eyelids, external ears, and autonomous tails (=can be dropped if in danger). Legless lizards have vestigial hip bones. Snakes have a greater number of vertebrae than legless lizards and therefore are more agile and flexible. Instead of eyelids, snakes have clear eye caps. All snakes are carnivores, while most lizards are omnivores, including legless lizards.

List of Differences:

Eyeslids: lizards have them but snakes do not
Eyecaps: snakes have them but lizards do not
Jaws: snakes can unhinge them but lizards cannot
Ears: lizards have external ears but snakes do not
Tails: lizards can drop their tails (="caudal autonomy") but snakes cannot
Vertebrae: snakes have hundreds, while lizards have fewer
Diet: all snakes are carnivores, while many lizards are omnivores
Scales: there are many differences between lizard scales and snake scales
Digestion: snake skin can expand to allow for the digestion of large prey, lizard skin cannot
Calcium Absorption: lizards need to get vitamin D from sunlight in order to absorb calcium from their food, but snakes do not need this
Metabolism: Legless lizards generally need to eat every day, but snakes need to eat less frequently (such as one meal per week)
Lateral groove: legless lizards have this extra fold of skin to allow them to expand while digesting, snakes do not need this
Constriction: many snakes (boas, pythons, and some colubrids) can coil tightly and use their muscles to constrict prey, legless lizards cannot
Tail / Body Ratio: legless lizards have very long tails, while snakes have shorter tails

An expert herpetologist could probably point out many more differences.

Most legless lizards are anguids, as are alligator lizards. Alligator lizards look like short legless lizards with small legs. For the sake of comparison, here are some pictures:

Alligator lizard:



Legless lizard:




Snake:



01/01/08  01:50pm

 #1573232


PrinceSushi
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  Message To: CoffeeCreature   In reference to Message Id: 1564059


 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

Quote:

Lizards, including legless ones, have fixed jaws, eyelids, external ears, and autonomous tails (=can be dropped if in danger).

Tails: lizards can drop their tails (="caudal autonomy") but snakes cannot



Not all lizards have the ability to drop their tails.BDs, most if not all monitors and chams are just some of the lizards that can not drop their tails.

Quote:

Eyeslids: lizards have them but snakes do not
Eyecaps: snakes have them but lizards do not



Link

Not all lizards have eyelids.Some lizards have brille just like snakes. Brille is a special scale like covering over the eyes that gets shed, just like any other scale.

Example:
Geckos in the families:
Aeluroscalabotinae
Gekkoninae
Teratoscincinae
Diplodactylinae

Do not have eyelids. Only eublepharinae geckos have eyelids.




01/08/08  06:08am

 #1577138


R0NST3R
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  Message To: PrinceSushi   In reference to Message Id: 1573232


 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

you forgot something. Snakes $35+ legless $10 average! lol



01/13/08  03:51pm

 #1580923


Bogie
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  Message To: R0NST3R   In reference to Message Id: 1577138


 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

a common misconception that snakes unhinge their jaw, they in fact have two lower jaws with very flexible tendons which they use to climb over their prey. not unhinge them at all, before they feed they yawn to flex the tendons so that they can flex over the prey, not to unhinge them.
harry



01/16/08  01:43pm

 #1603924


Rcmmm
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  Message To: Bogie   In reference to Message Id: 1580923


 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

the legless lizards have hip bones



01/31/08  10:25pm

 #1619764


CoffeeCreature
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  Message To: Rcmmm   In reference to Message Id: 1603924


 Why They Are Lizards (Not Snakes)

Yes, I realize there were some inaccuracies in that list, such as the fact that not all lizards have eyelids, not all lizards can drop their tails, and snakes do not literally unhinge their jaws. I was generalizing for the sake of brevity. Anyway, thanks for pointing those things out. I just wanted to address a question that gets asked a lot.



02/11/08  04:56pm


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