What Are The Different Ways That Snakes Move?
Snakes don’t have limbs like other animals and they are known to crawl as their method of movement. To do so, they use their bendy body that consists of a flexible spine with up to 400 ribs attached. Muscles connected to the ribs help snakes with moving forward. Belly scales are also crucial when it comes to snake movements. However, crawling is not the only method of movement. In fact, snake movement patterns are quite complicated and we can differentiate four kinds of movements that snakes exhibit.
This is a motion commonly used by most snakes. To move in such a way, the snake contracts its muscles starting at the head and then moves its body from one side to another, creating an S-shaped series of curves. While moving in this S-shaped way, snakes push off any obstacles that appear in front of them – such as rocks or any other objects. This wavy motion unfortunately doesn’t work over slick surfaces like glass. The serpentine method is also known as lateral undulation, moreover, this motion is what most people imagine when thinking about snakes.
This method may not be snakes’ favorite as it is quite difficult for them, however, it is very useful whenever they need to move ahead in tight spaces. The snake braces the back of their body and at the same time pushes the anterior part in the forward direction. Afterward, the snake drops the front of their body, just to straighten and pull back the posterior part next. In this method, snakes use their belly scales to grip the surface. The movement is achieved by continually springing forward in order to find a new spot to grip the anterior part of the snake’s body.
Snakes contract their muscles and push off only two contact points to launch their body forward. The snake’s head goes first and then the rest of the body follows moving sideways. It’s quite a complicated movement that is used by snakes on slippery or loose surfaces such as sand.
This is a slow, steady movement often described as ‘creeping’. Snakes use their wide belly scales to grip the ground and at the same time use different scales to be pushed in the forward direction. It’s a wavy motion where the snake body forms small, up, and down curves.
These are the four main types of snake movement; however, a variety of motions are present with different species.