Snakes have an unusual body shape, and it is difficult to ascertain how the snake body parts differ just by looking at them.
This brings up a lot of curious questions, one of which is the subject of our article: Do snakes have necks or are they just a tail? What body parts do they have?
The simple answer is no, snakes don’t have necks. While it may otherwise be because of how slender their bodies are, there is no neck section on snakes, nor do they possess the skeletal structure to have a neck.
How then do their heads stay attached to the body? We’ll be looking into this, as well as some other relevant information.
Do Snakes Have Necks?
Some sources might contend that snakes have a neck, but when compared to other vertebrates this doesn’t seem accurate.
Snakes don’t have a pectoral girdle, and as such, they can’t have a neck like other animals.
Snakes don’t have limbs too, which is why they glide with their bellies rather than walk.
Some of them come with a femur or pelvis, but every snake is shaped like a long rope. They aren’t all thin, however, as some snakes are thicker and larger than others.
How Do Their Heads Stay Attached?
If they don’t have necks, how do their heads stay attached to the body? The answer to this lies in their anatomy.
The snake’s body is long, narrow, and adapted for crawling. It is divided into four quadrants, each with some parts.
The head, trachea, heart, and esophagus are part of the first quadrant.
The second quadrant starts from the lungs to the liver down to the stomach, and others follow suit.
From this, we see that the head is simply attached to the trachea and other quadrants without any need for a neck structure.
Just as the snake doesn’t need limbs to move, it doesn’t need a neck to keep the head in place.
Did Snakes Lose Their Necks?
Some sources propose that snakes had limbs and a neck—much like the lizard—but that the evolutionary process led it to lose these parts.
However, further studies may mean that we need a rethink how snakes evolved.
According to the new findings, snakes didn’t lose their necks due to evolution. Rather, other mammals gained them.
This conclusion was reached after paleontologists examine differences in vertebrates like snakes, lizards, mice, and alligators.
Whatever the case, we know that snakes do not have necks.
What about Tails? Do Snakes Have Tails?
Though they don’t have necks, snakes have tails. This may not be evident because of their body structure, but you can notice where the tail is by looking at the part that’s farthest from the head.
Not all snake species have the same tail length. Some come with a short tail, others have a longer one.
The snake’s tail isn’t overly important, but the snake would have problems if the tail gets cut off.
The tail provides balance, helps the snake grasp things, and can even be a weapon to grab prey.
What Body Parts Do Snakes Have?
In the anatomy of a snake, all the snake’s organs are elongated to fit inside its body. The first 25% of a snake’s body parts consist of the head and major organs like the trachea, esophagus, heart, and lungs.
The snake’s body parts include the skull, brain, eye, venom duct, fangs, upper jaw, tongue, lower jaw, trachea, esophagus, venom gland, heart, lungs, ribs, liver, stomach, intestines, vertebrae, testes (male sex organ), kidneys, rectum, cloaca, and tail.
Unlike reptiles like many lizard species, snakes don’t have a neck or even a skeletal structure for it.
There’s some evidence that snakes have been this way for a long, and they do just fine without a neck because the head is attached to the rest of the body.
They also survive without limbs, and all they have is a tail for balance and grasping.