Do Snakes Have Feet?

|

This is a question that many people ask and the answer may surprise you. While snakes do not have the conventional feet that we think of they do have what is called “vestigial limbs”. These are small rudimentary limbs that are remnants of their evolutionary history.

So while snakes may not have feet in the traditional sense they do have vestigial limbs that are a remnant of their evolutionary history.

What Are Vestigial Limbs?

Vestigial limbs are small rudimentary limbs that are remnants of an animal’s evolutionary history. In snakes these vestigial limbs are located at the base of the tail and are typically not visible.

Vestigial limbs are thought to be remnants of ancestral limbs that were once functional but are now no longer needed. For example snakes’ ancestors may have had four legs but as snakes evolved they no longer needed these legs and they became vestigial.

Why Do Snakes Have Vestigial Limbs?

There are a few theories as to why snakes have vestigial limbs. One theory is that the vestigial limbs are remnants of ancestral limbs that were once functional but are now no longer needed.

Another theory is that the vestigial limbs may help snakes balance when they are moving. This theory is supported by the fact that vestigial limbs are typically located at the base of the tail which is where a snake’s center of gravity is.

Lastly it is possible that the vestigial limbs serve no purpose at all and are simply a vestige of snakes’ evolutionary history.

Do All Snakes Have Vestigial Limbs?

No not all snakes have vestigial limbs. In fact there are many species of snakes that do not have any vestigial limbs.

Some snakes that do not have vestigial limbs include the boa constrictor the anaconda and the king cobra.

Do Vestigial Limbs Have A Function?

There is no clear consensus on whether or not vestigial limbs have a function. Some scientists believe that vestigial limbs are remnants of ancestral limbs that were once functional but are now no longer needed.

Others believe that the vestigial limbs may help snakes balance when they are moving. And still others believe that the vestigial limbs serve no purpose at all and are simply a vestige of snakes’ evolutionary history.