The ancient Greeks used the Gorgoneion, a depiction of a hideous face with serpents for hair, as an apotropaic symbol to ward off evil.  This creature, known in Akkadian as the mušḫuššu, meaning "furious serpent", was used as a symbol for particular deities and also as a general protective emblem.  In medieval alchemy, the ouroboros became a typical western dragon with wings, legs, and a tail.. Naga (Sanskrit:नाग) is the Sanskrit/Pāli word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very large snake, found in Hinduism and Buddhism. In the Late Cretaceous, snakes recolonized land, and continued to diversify into today's snakes. A Horned Serpent is a popular image in Northern American natives' mythology. Being ectothermic ("cold-blooded"), the surrounding temperature plays a large role in snake digestion.  Retention of eggs and live birth are most often associated with colder environments. Feathered serpents were also depicted in much of their art, possibly implying the creatures had the ability to fly. Its body forms a circle around the whole of Midgard, the home of humankind. The Book of Numbers 21:6–9 provides an origin for an archaic copper serpent, Nehushtan, by associating it with Moses. The Gorgons wore a belt of two intertwined serpents in the same configuration of the caduceus. In Ancient Egypt, where the earliest written cultural records exist, the serpent appears from the beginning to the end of their mythology. • Southern and southeastern Asia, and islands on the Sunda Shelf (Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and their surrounding smaller islands).  While this movement appears rapid, snakes have rarely been documented moving faster than two body-lengths per second, often much less.  Previously, snakes were a minor component of the North American fauna, but during the Miocene, the number of species and their prevalence increased dramatically with the first appearances of vipers and elapids in North America and the significant diversification of Colubridae (including the origin of many modern genera such as Nerodia, Lampropeltis, Pituophis, and Pantherophis). Earlier, the Irulas caught thousands of snakes for the snake-skin industry. Fossils readily identifiable as snakes (though often retaining hind limbs) first appear in the fossil record during the Cretaceous period. For this reason, people who are allergic to horses are more likely to suffer an allergic reaction to antivenom. It seems that they have been worshiped along with the fertility goddesses, from fourth to first millennium BC. , Symbolic values frequently assigned to or related to serpents. Every python of the danh-gbi kind must be treated with respect, and death is the penalty for killing one, even by accident. He is often seen as the son of the snake goddess Renenutet. The fossil record of snakes is relatively poor because snake skeletons are typically small and fragile making fossilization uncommon. The skeleton of most snakes consists solely of the skull, hyoid, vertebral column, and ribs, though henophidian snakes retain vestiges of the pelvis and rear limbs. While serpents and snakes may terrify many people, the scaly, slithering creatures have been used to symbolize both positive and negative elements by ancient cultures. The 'Python Cave' at Tsodilo Hills World Heritage Site, Botswana". 33 26 3. For other uses, see, Proto-IE: *(s)nēg-o-, Meaning: snake, Old Indian: nāgá- m. "snake", Germanic: *snēk-a- m., *snak-an- m., *snak-ō f.; *snak-a- vb., Russ. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. " In other cultures,[which?]  The word ousted adder, as adder went on to narrow in meaning, though in Old English næddre was the general word for snake. 20, p. 93.  In Hinduism, Kundalini is a coiled serpent..  This mode of locomotion overcomes the slippery nature of sand or mud by pushing off with only static portions on the body, thereby minimizing slipping. (See Lamia). King Cobra Cobra Snake.  In the majority of species, only one lung is functional. According to some sources, Ophion ("serpent", a.k.a.  The ouroboros was a well-known ancient Egyptian symbol of a serpent swallowing its own tail. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. When a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, so as not to break his ecstatic state.  Ritual combat between males for the females they want to mate with includes topping, a behavior exhibited by most viperids in which one male will twist around the vertically elevated fore body of its opponent and forcing it downward. Examples of such staffs featuring coiled snakes in mythology are the caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius, the Staff of Moses, and the papyrus reeds and deity poles entwined by a single serpent Wadjet, dating to earlier than 3000 BCE. Although a snake is defending itself from the encroachment of its victim into the snake's immediate vicinity, the unannounced and deadly strike may seem unduly vengeful when measured against the unwitting victim's perceived lack of blameworthiness. The twins were half human and half snake, according to the ethnic group of Mali and Upper Volta called the Dogon. The colloquial term "poisonous snake" is generally an incorrect label for snakes. Learn how and when to remove this template message, "The origin of snakes: revealing the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary history of early snakes using genomics, phenomics, and the fossil record", "Integrated analyses resolve conflicts over squamate reptile phylogeny and reveal unexpected placements for fossil taxa", "At the lower size limit in snakes: two new species of threadsnakes (Squamata: Leptotyphlopidae: Leptotyphlops) from the Lesser Antilles", "Predation on Sun Bears by Reticulated Python in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo", "Fossils of oldest known snakes unearthed", "The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution", Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Sprachen, "A Cretaceous terrestrial snake with robust hindlimbs and a sacrum", "EVOLUTION. Snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes.
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