A snake research question

Dear Diary,

It's 2009 and there's something that I've been thinking about... it's about snakes of course.


Can snakes accurately gauge the height of a crevice that they are considering squeezing themselves beneath?


Do snakes have a mechanism to prevent mis-judgement of the size of an opening?


Can a snake prevent the problem of becoming stuck in a crevice? They should because a snake cannot travel backwards in a straight line. This means that one incorrect assessment would indomitably cost it its life by starvation if it not first by predation. I am not aware of this problem an it would seem that if a preventative mechanism did not exist, populations would suffer high losses.


If there is no mechanism for preventing a snake from attempting too-small crevices, snakes would probably HAD to have evolved a way to travel backwards because a given species of nearly any snake (give the exeptions) utilize crevices of


Testing: species that encounter very little or no crevice entry avoid small crevices at a lower success rate than species that commonly travel through crevices (garters, rock, structure-dwelling species).


Little or no crevice entry species/test species:

-Sea snakes (cannot personally handle. But would be a GREAT example. Look into getting data, particularly if the easier to attain sand snakes agree with hypothesis).

-extreme desert-dwellers (rubber boas, sand boas/Kenyan sand boas),

-swamp snakes

-tree snakes (though necessity/adeptness of depth/dimension perception may compensate for this. If true crevice-less snakes prove less successful than crevice snakes, will fit).


If this mechanism exists, is it a feature of all snakes or is it restricted to groups whose habitats and behavior calls for it?






Red=verify and reference

Blue=check vocabulary

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©DWasserman Oct 2019