Limbless Amphibians vs Snakes
Frogs and toads straightaway come to our mind when the word amphibian is spoken. No doubt they are the most celebrated species among amphibians, but there is an order of amphibians that we know very little about and which very much resemble like snakes. Yes, I am talking about limbless amphibians (legless amphibians), also known as Caecilians, an order of amphibians that most of us are unaware of. There are many superficial similarities between caecilians and snakes but there are also differences that will be talked about in this article.
Limbless amphibians are mostly found inside the earth and they are found in South America, Asia, and Africa. There are great variations in their size with smaller ones looking like earthworms while the longer ones are almost 1.5 m in length. Because of their slithery, shiny body, they give an impression of being snakes but they are altogether different species of reptiles than snakes. While most of the 168 species of limbless amphibians are found inside earth, some of them are excellent swimmers and live in waters. Those living in water give birth to larvae while those living under the earth either lay eggs or produce live young ones. Though they do have small eyes, they are covered with skin or bones making them virtually functionless. Most of these amphibians are excellent burrowers and they are aided in this activity because of a hard skull. They make use of their small tentacles to gather information about their surroundings.
Though caecilians look soft on the outside, they do have needle sharp teeth and jaw that are used to grab insects, worms, frogs, small snakes, lizards etc. They do not chew and instead swallow the prey. Limbless amphibians are known to be toxic which is why they are not eaten by other animals.
Snakes on the other hand are limbless reptiles that come from the order Squamata and the suborder serpentes. A majority of snake species are not venomous but those having it use it to spray on prey to immobilize and kill it. Non poisonous snakes swallow prey through constriction. Snakes are thought to have evolved from four legged lizards in the Cretacious period. Snakes have a shiny, slithery body and make use of their specialized scales to move on the ground. Snakes have eyes that are functional but they do not have great vision. All varieties of snakes are carnivorous and eat worms, frogs, lizards, birds, insects and small animals for their diet. Reproduction in snakes takes place through laying eggs.
Limbless Amphibians vs Snake
• Limbless amphibians are called caecilians and come from the order Gymnophiona while snakes are reptiles coming from the order Squamata
• Limbless amphibians are almost blind as their eyes are covered with bones of skull while snakes have vision.
• Though limbless amphibians are toxic, they do not have veno while some snakes are venomous.
• Limbless amphibians have sharp, needle like teeth while snakes do not have them
• Limbless amphibians lay eggs, produce aquatic larvae, and also produce live young ones while snakes only lay eggs
• While limbless amphibians are tropical creatures, snakes are found all over the world in all sorts of climates.