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54th Annual Rattlesnake Rodeo in Alabama attracts thousands of weekend guests

54th Annual Rattlesnake Rodeo in Alabama attracts thousands of weekend guests

OPP, Ala., April 14 (UPI) -- Rattlesnake Rodeo in Alabama celebrated the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake for the 54th time over the weekend in Opp.
Evan Bleier

Afghanistan denies execution of 23 Pakistani soldiers

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's Interior Ministry Saturday strongly rejected claims by Pakistan it had executed 23 members of a Pakistani security force.
Katy Perry channels Cleopatra in new 'Dark Horse' music video

Katy Perry channels Cleopatra in new 'Dark Horse' music video

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Katy Perry gives Cleopatra a colorful twist for her new "Dark Horse" music video.
Annie Martin
U.N. report tells of 'unspeakable atrocities' in North Korea

U.N. report tells of 'unspeakable atrocities' in North Korea

GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- North Korea commits crimes against humanity, including "murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions," says a U.N. report released Monday.
Snake-handling pastor Jamie Coots dies from rattler bite

Snake-handling pastor Jamie Coots dies from rattler bite

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Ky., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Snake-handling pastor and "Snake Salvation" star Jamie Coots died after being bitten by a rattlesnake and refusing treatment on Saturday in Kentucky.
Evan Bleier

Snake-handling Kentucky preacher dies after rattler bite

MIDDLESBORO, Ky., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A snake-handling preacher died in Kentucky this weekend after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a church service and refusing medical care, his family said.
Scientists locate new connection between fear and behavior in brain

Scientists locate new connection between fear and behavior in brain

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Scientists say they've discovered a new neural circuit linking deep fears with the area of the brainstem that controls behavior.
Brooks Hays

Hundreds of pythons, mostly dead, found in house in California

SANTA ANA, Calif., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Police said they found hundreds of dead pythons and two living ones Wednesday in the house of a Southern California elementary school teacher.

Hundreds of pythons found in elementary school teacher's home

SANTA ANA, Calif., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- California police arrested William Fredrick Buchman after finding hundreds of dead and nearly dead pythons inside his home.
Kate Stanton
Pennsylvania casino denies persistent snakes rumor

Pennsylvania casino denies persistent snakes rumor

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem responded to Facebook rumors that there are snakes are biting gamblers.
Kate Stanton

Snakes seized from serpent-handling pastor euthanized

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- More than a dozen venomous snakes seized from a serpent-handling Tennessee pastor were euthanized, state wildlife authorities said.

Ohio says it is ready for new ban on exotic animals

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Ohio has prepared a holding facility for exotic animals, ready for Jan. 1, when its new ban on owning dangerous pets takes effect.

Ancestor of modern snakes and lizards bore live young, study says

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The ancestor of snakes and lizards gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs and some species have switched between modes, U.S. researchers said.
Repticon reptile show in Orlando draws more than 2000 people

Repticon reptile show in Orlando draws more than 2000 people

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Repticon Orlando highlighted by "morphed" ball pythons and rare black dragon.
Evan Bleier

Poisoned mice dropped over Guam to kill brown tree snakes

HAGATNA, Guam, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 2,000 mice spiked with acetaminophen were dropped over the territory of Guam to poison invasive brown tree snakes.
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Wiki

Snakes are elongate legless carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Like lizards, from which they evolved, they have loosely articulated skulls and most can swallow prey much larger than their own head. In order to accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca.

Living snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica. Fifteen families are currently recognized comprising 456 genera and over 2,900 species. They range in size from the tiny, 10 cm long thread snake to pythons and anacondas of up to 7.6 m (25 ft) in length. The recently discovered fossil Titanoboa was 13 m or 43 ft long. Snakes are thought to have evolved from either burrowing or aquatic lizards during the Cretaceous period (c 150 Ma). The diversity of modern snakes appeared during the Paleocene period (c 66 to 56 Ma).

Most species are non-venomous and those that have venom use it primarily to kill and subdue prey rather than for self-defense. Some possess venom potent enough to cause painful injury or death to humans.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Snakes."
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