Monday, June 05, 2006

Convergent evolution? Or Whats a blind snake?

Does that look like an earthworm? Look closely? An earthworm would have a large band about a third of the way down from its head. And you would see horizontal segments. You dont see them here.

Well thats cause its a snake! They're called blind snakes. They're burrowing animals, the same size as an earthworm albeit a little darker. If you look closely you'll see the scales. The burrowing lifestyle obviates the need for eyes, so they have very very reduced eyes which are covered with scales. They can probably just make out light and dark. You can see them in the second image.

So if you ever see an earthworm that moving sort of too quickly and too much like a vertebrate, its cause its a snake.

Do you also notice that while the head (which is poking out through the loop of the snakes body) is blunt, the tail is kinda pointy? This snake and I think many other species poke you with the pointy end! And yes they smell! The mouths too small to bite, I believe they use a funny eating mechanism called 'mandibular raking'. Heres some videos made by a guy who works on them.

No comments: