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Author Topic: How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)  (Read 8529 times)

Offline Seany

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Everyone knows that snakes can lift their fronts up.. Like when that whistle blowing man blows it, the snake comes out of a pot and lifts up..

I was wondering how it was able to do this? Or in a diagonal position?



Or am I mistaken?


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #1 on: 26/05/2007 16:32:58 »
It's all done using muscles. Some snakes, such as the black mamba, can have up to 35% of their length off the ground in a forward direction when they strike. As mambas can grow to 14ft in length (they are the 2nd largest venomous snake in the world after the king cobra) this means that approx 3.5-4ft can be raised (I am not aware of any snake that can raise a larger proportion of its length except for vertically).

This is also their maximum strike distance unless they have an aid. People who are stupid enough to try to ward of a black mamba with an item such as a broom have found that the snake will speed up the handle to strike. It has been known for a mamba to use this method to strike at a distance of 8ft in about 1/3 of a second.

 

Offline that mad man

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #2 on: 26/05/2007 16:41:46 »
Hi Seany.

A snakes body is like a long thin very strong muscle so they can easily lift up their front end which is also necessary when striking at prey.

They don't defy gravity though, there is always more snake touching ground than in the air and towards the rear end they tend to be a bit thicker.

The snakes I have are constrictors and crush or hold their prey tight to immobilise their prey until they stop breathing and are safe to eat. If they wrap around my arm it can take a lot of effort to untangle and free them. If they wrap around both wrists then I need help as its like a pair of handcuffs!

Yep, that strong!

PS: Snakes don't have ears so cant hear the whistle man, but they can, so I'm told, feel low frequency waves.

Opps, a bit late..... ;D

 

Offline Seany

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #3 on: 26/05/2007 17:15:56 »
Thanks both of you. So more part of their body has to touch the ground, than that which is lifted?
 

Offline that mad man

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #4 on: 26/05/2007 17:43:13 »
In most cases yes.

They can however wrap the end of their tail round something and use that as extra leverage allowing them to lift more body mass.

Its a question of balance. Lie on you back arms on chest and lift the legs up, easy, now lie on you back and lift your body up.....
 

Offline Seany

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #5 on: 26/05/2007 17:46:21 »
Yes it's harder. Why is it harder to lift the body? Greater mass?
 

another_someone

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #6 on: 26/05/2007 18:07:28 »
What I have heard about the pipes used for snake charming is that the snakes don't actually hear it at all.  They can feel the snake charmer tapping his foot on the floor, and they see the pipe moving about, and as the charmer moves the pipe, the snake is trying to track it, and is too busy doing that to do anything else.
 

Offline that mad man

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #7 on: 26/05/2007 22:16:55 »
Yes it's harder. Why is it harder to lift the body? Greater mass?

Yes, but also balance and angle, in this case a bit like a see-saw, your hips would be the fulcrum.

If a snake wanted to get to a overhanging branch it could curl a small portion of its back end, a bit like a spring on end, use that as a base and then stretch straight up. Providing its keeps its centre of gravity right it could reach up to possibly 2/3 of its length.

They climb well.  ;D

@ another_someone.

Yeah, your right, no ears.

I'm sure mine like drum & bass though, and I'm being serious!  ;D

Bee


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #8 on: 28/05/2007 08:43:02 »
That's right about snakes having no ears. They do, however, feel vibrations on the ground and are sensitive enough to that to be able to detect footsteps.

What was said about snake charmers is also true. The snake tries to follow the movement of the pipe even though it can't hear it.
 

Offline Seany

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #9 on: 28/05/2007 12:19:13 »
One clever snake ;D
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #10 on: 29/12/2007 19:07:38 »
Gravity affects all organisms, particularly terrestrial animals that are large or vertically oriented. Both humans and giraffes, for example, have cardiovascular systems which are specially adapted to circulate body fluids against the force of gravity and to maintain adequate blood flow to the brain. Snakes, however, are unique in their extent and range of cardiovascular adaptations to variable gravity.

Today, the 16 families and approximately 2,700 species of snakes in the world occupy nearly every available habitat except the polar regions, high mountain tops, and deep oceans. Some snakes are aquatic, many are terrestrial, and still others are strictly arboreal (tree-climbing). In general, arboreal species are characterized by morphological and physiological adaptations that maintain cardiovascular performance during changes in posture (e.g. tree climbing). Aquatic species, however, exhibit severe hemodynamic and cardiopulmonary problems when removed from their natural environment and oriented vertically in air. Semi-aquatic species and non-climbing terrestrial species are intermediate in their cardiovascular responses to gravity. Thus, snakes offer a diverse range of adaptation to gravitational influence on the cardiovascular system. Regulatory responses of tree-climbing snakes to vertical posture resemble those of humans to upright standing, while the gravitational problems experienced by non-climbing species of snakes resemble problems of humans with cardiovascular deconditioning such as bed rest and space flight.

In collaboration with Dr. Harvey Lillywhite, professor of zoology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, we have performed two main studies involving cardiovascular adaptations to gravity in snakes:
 

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How do Snakes lift their fronts up? (Basically hovers..)
« Reply #10 on: 29/12/2007 19:07:38 »

 

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