Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Squamata

Photo credit: Lim Tammy
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata

Description

This order includes three sub-orders, two of which are represented in Singapore: the Serpentes (snakes) and the Sauria (lizards).

Snakes have elongated bodies and are limbless. They have no eyelids and ear openings. All snakes are carnivorous and swallow their prey whole. Their jaws are loosely connected to allow them to swallow prey that are bigger than their heads. Some snakes have poison glands connected to their fangs, which are mainly used for immobilising their prey.

Most lizards have limbs although not all of them do. However, the ones found in Singapore do. Lizards, unlike snakes, have well-developed eyelids and  external ears.

Snakes and some lizards have forked tongue to pick up scents from the atmosphere. The tongue will then transfer the scent to  Jacobson’s organ at the roof of their mouth which contain sensory cells connected to the brain.

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