Snakes today not only move about in various ways, but they have diversified into numerous species over the several thousand years since the Great Flood. All are complex creatures with specialized bodies and mouths well-suited to their particular niches and diets—all are carnivores. Some of the different ways in which snakes catch and dispatch their prey include:
- The sophisticated infra-red heat sense of the pit viper, for detecting prey’s body heat—it can pick temperature differences of only 0.003°C!
- A highly flexible skull in many snakes—adjacent skull bones can move in relation to one another—and jaw bones that come apart (held together by an elastic ligament), to swallow large prey, sometimes bigger than the snake itself!
- The complex venom of poisonous snakes—a nasty cocktail of up to dozens of different toxins (e.g. enzymes) that break down body tissues (proteins and cell membranes) and/or block nerve action. Interestingly, biologists found recently that different families of snakes have more toxin genes in common than was previously thought, some used in prey capture and some in defense.
- The venom-injection system of vipers—an irreducibly complex system of long, hollow fangs, fed by large ducts from paired venom glands, that fold back along the upper jaw when the mouth is closed, but swing forward into striking position when the snake bites. ….
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