Why Can’t Snakes Slither On Glass?

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It’s a common belief that snakes can’t slither on glass because their bellies are too smooth. But that’s not the real reason! The truth is snakes don’t have the right kind of scales to grip the surface of glass.

Let’s take a closer look at snakes and their scales to understand why they can’t slither on glass.

What Are Snake Scales?

Snake scales are made of keratin the same protein that makes up human hair and nails. These scales are arranged in overlapping rows that allow the snake to move smoothly across different surfaces.

The size and shape of snake scales vary depending on the species. For example boa constrictors have large rectangular scales while rattlesnakes have small triangular scales.

Why Can’t Snakes Slither On Glass?

The main reason snakes can’t slither on glass is because their scales aren’t adapted for gripping smooth surfaces. Snake scales are covered in tiny ridges called crenulations that help them grip rough surfaces like bark leaves and dirt.

But on a smooth surface like glass these crenulations can’t get a good grip. So when a snake tries to slither across glass its scales just slip and slide.

Interestingly some snake species have developed special adaptations that allow them to grip smooth surfaces. For example the common brown snake has tiny suction-like scales on its belly that help it cling to slippery surfaces.

But even these specialised scales aren’t enough to allow snakes to slither on glass.

Can Snakes Climb Glass?

Another common misconception is that snakes can’t climb glass because their bellies are too smooth. But again this isn’t the real reason!

The truth is snakes can’t climb glass because they don’t have the right kind of claws. Most snakes have two long curved claws at the tips of their tails. These claws are used for gripping branches and leaves and for helping the snake climb.

But on a smooth surface like glass these claws can’t get a good grip. So when a snake tries to climb glass its claws just slip and slide.

Interestingly some snake species have developed special adaptations that allow them to climb smooth surfaces. For example the common brown snake has tiny suction-like scales on its belly that help it cling to slippery surfaces.

But even these specialised scales aren’t enough to allow snakes to climb glass.

Why Do People Think Snakes Can Slither On Glass?

So why do people think snakes can slither on glass? There are a few possible explanations.

One possibility is that people confuse snakes with lizards. Unlike snakes lizards have rough tooth-like scales that allow them to grip smooth surfaces like glass.

Another possibility is that people confuse snakes with worms. Worms don’t have scales but they do have tiny suction-like bumps on their skin that allow them to grip smooth surfaces.

So if you’ve ever seen a snake slithering on glass it was probably a lizard or a worm!

Conclusion

In conclusion snakes can’t slither on glass because their scales aren’t adapted for gripping smooth surfaces. Additionally snakes can’t climb glass because they don’t have the right kind of claws.