If you’re someone who likes to ponder on the deeper mysteries of life, you have probably asked yourself: Do snakes have tails? Well, in this article, we at Urban Reptiles are going to help you out by answering this strange yet interesting question.
You’d think that a snakes tail is pretty much the length of its whole body, minus the head. However, the questions of where a snakes tail actually starts, and whether snakes even have tails isn’t quite so simple. How about we take the plunge together and try to find out whether snakes have tails or not…
So, do they?
Spoiler alert: snakes DO have tails.
Some may have guessed it, others might have thought that snakes only have bodies. Both are fair arguments to make. However, to really answer the question of whether snakes have tails, we need some more information…
What is classed as a tail?
Here’s the definition that Google provides: “the hindmost part of an animal, especially when prolonged beyond the rest of the body, such as the flexible extension of the backbone in a vertebrate, the feathers at the hind end of a bird, or a terminal appendage in an insect”
This doesn’t really answer our question since a snake doesn’t really have anything that prolongs behind the rest of their body. Their body is pretty much a tail!
If we look at Wikipedia, we get a little further. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tail Wikipedia even gives some more information about a snakes tail too. It says that the tail is the part of the snake that doesn’t contain any vital internal organs.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
Once we take a look at a snakes skeleton, we can see where the ribs stop. No ribs means no protection to the organs and thus, no organs.
As you can see, this would mean that a snake’s tail starts surprisingly far down its body. It’s a long way away from where most would guess it was. It’s often thought that a snake’s tail starts halfway down its body, but, as you’ll see in the next part, some snakes have a really clear tail.
Where does a snake’s tail start?
In this image, you can clearly see where the snakes tail starts. It actually looks rather funny when you notice it for the first time. It’s kind of like there’s a little snake stuck inside of a larger one.
Can snake’s drop their tails?
If you’re into reptiles, the next most obvious question is whether or not snakes can drop their tails.
Well, proper snakes do not drop their tails like some lizards can. The reason we say “proper snakes” is because legless lizards can drop their tails.
That being said, there are some species of snake who’s tail can break off. This can probably happen to most snakes, but we don’t know of any snakes which have dropped their tails.
If a snake loses its tail, it will not grow back. Snakes aren’t like lizards who can (sometimes) regenerate a tale and drop their tails at will.
Did you find this post interesting? If so, then our post on why snakes eat themselves might be an interesting read for you!
Just a short post this time. Hopefully, we’ve managed to clear things up when it comes to snakes and their tails. It might not be the most obvious of questions, but it’s certainly one that you could otherwise sit and debate about for hours.
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