Serpent and snake are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Although they belong to the same family, there are many differences between them. In this article, we will explore the difference between serpent and snake.
What is a Serpent?
A serpent is a legless reptile with a long, cylindrical body and no eyelids. Unlike snakes, serpents are not a distinct family of reptiles, but rather a general term used to describe all legless reptiles. Serpents can be found in nearly every part of the world, from the deserts of Africa to the rainforests of South America.
Serpents are known for their unique, undulating way of movement, in which they glide across the ground or water in a series of S-shaped curves. Serpents also have a distinctive head shape, with broad, triangular jaws and an elongated, pointed snout.
One of the most famous serpents is the biblical serpent, which is depicted as a cunning and deceitful creature in many religious stories. Serpents have long been used in folklore and mythology, and are often associated with evil or sinister beings.
What is a Snake?
A snake is a legless reptile that belongs to the family Serpentes. There are over 3,000 species of snakes, ranging from small, harmless species that eat insects and rodents, to large, venomous species that can be deadly to humans.
Snakes are known for their slender, elongated bodies and their unique ability to swallow prey whole. Unlike serpents, snakes do not undulate when they move, but rather slither across the ground or swim through water using a wave-like motion.
Snakes have a distinctive head shape, with a broad, flattened skull and a pair of large, lidless eyes that are sensitive to light and movement. Snakes also have a set of specialized teeth, called fangs, which they use to inject venom into their prey.
Differences between Serpents and Snakes
Now that we have a basic understanding of what serpents and snakes are, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between them.
As mentioned earlier, serpent is a general term used to describe all legless reptiles, while snake is a specific family of legless reptiles that belongs to the Serpentes family.
Serpents move by undulating their bodies in an S-shaped motion, while snakes slither across the ground or water using a wave-like motion.
3. Head Shape
Serpents have a distinctive head shape, with broad, triangular jaws and an elongated, pointed snout. Snakes have a broad, flattened skull and a pair of large, lidless eyes.
4. Eye Lids
Serpents do not have eyelids, while snakes have no eyelids but have a transparent scale over their eyes, called the spectacle.
Serpents can be found in nearly every part of the world, from deserts to rainforests, while snakes are more common in warm, tropical regions.
While both serpents and snakes can be venomous, not all serpents are venomous. Snakes, on the other hand, almost all species are venomous.
In conclusion, serpents and snakes are not the same thing. While serpents refer to any legless reptile, snakes specifically refer to the 3000 plus species of legless reptiles that belong to the family Serpentes. Serpents move by undulating their bodies, while snakes slither using a wave-like motion. Snakes have a broad, flattened skull and a pair of large, lidless eyes, while serpents have broad, triangular jaws and elongated, pointed snouts. While both can be venomous, snakes are almost always venomous while not all serpents are venomous.