Slippery Customer?

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Full Screen Image – European Adder, Skye, Highland Scotland ©Nick Sidle

New findings by Oregon State University have shown that snakes have a layer of fatty molecules on the scales on their underside and it has been proposed that this serves two functions, lubrication to make movement easier and lubrication to reduce wear and tear from sliding over the ground.

BBC News – Snake’s belly slides on fatty film

The research was done on the California Kingsnake but there is every chance that the adaptation will be seen, even if it is to varying degrees, in other species including the European Adder, Scotland’s only snake. (There have been occasional reports of Grass Snakes in southern Scotland but they are not considered resident and have never been seen in the North).

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Full Screen Image – European Adder, Skye, Highland Scotland ©Nick Sidle

Nick

Scotland’s Reptiles and Amphibians gallery

European Adder – Vipera berus