A SNAKE'S BODY by Joanna Cole


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A close look at snake anatomy--specifically, that of a male Indian python, though Cole and Wexler take a closing look at a female python and take note here and there of areas where other snakes differ from pythons. Thus we have descriptions and diagrams of four different methods of snake locomotion, and we are shown a labeled skull, with fangs, of a venomous snake. . . before turning to the book's most spectacular sequence, that of the python squeezing and swallowing a chick. Also on view are close-ups of a castoff skin, the different kinds of scales on different parts of the body, the anal claws thought to be vestigial hind legs, the eyes which probably don't see much, the heat detectors which serve their possessors better, the flicking forked tongue with its strong sense of smell, and, a rarer sight, the sheath to which the tongue retires when at rest. Never stooping to exploit the shuddering fascination of their subject, Cole and Wexler will nevertheless capture--and rechannel--the giddiest interest along with the most scholarly.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow