The main difference between lizard and snake is that lizard usually has four legs whereas snakes do not have legs. However, some lizards are legless.
Lizard and snake are two groups of reptiles. They are cold-blooded animals that are oviparous. Furthermore, lizards do not have a forked tongue while snakes have a forked tongue. Moreover, lizards have eyelids while snakes do not have eyelids.
Key Areas Covered
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What are the Similarities Between Lizard and Snake
– Outline of Common features
4. What is the Difference Between Lizard and Snake
– Comparison of Key Differences
Eyelids, Limbs, Lizard, Scales, Snake, Tongue
Lizard – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
A lizard is a widespread group of reptiles belonging to the order Squamata. Most lizards have four legs while others show near or complete loss of limbs. Lizards with legs run with a strong side-to-side motion while legless lizards are capable of gliding. The size of lizards ranges from a few centimeters as in chameleons and geckos to around 3 meters as in Komodo dragon.
Furthermore, lizards are carnivores; they often sit and wait for the prey. The smaller species of lizards eat insects while larger lizards like Komodo dragon can catch even water buffalos. Moreover, some antipredator adaptations of lizards include the production of venom, camouflage, sacrifice and regrowth of their tails, etc.
Snake – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
A snake is a reptile characterized by the presence of a legless, elongated body. It forms a separate clade inside the order Squamata. It belongs to the suborder Serpentes. Approximately, 2700 species of snakes have been identified so far. Snakes vary in body size starting from a pencil-size to the 25 feet long anacondas. Generally, snakes live in almost all ecological niche from tropical regions to deserts, except the polar regions.
Moreover, the skin of snakes is made up of horny scales. Snakes shed the outer layer of the skin several times per year. Colubrids or typical snakes are the largest snake family. They have only one lung. However, snakes in the Boa family have two lungs. Also, muscular contractions are responsible for the locomotion of snakes and the most common form of locomotion is undulation, which is a straight-line movement.
Similarities Between Lizard and Snake
- Lizard and snake are two groups of reptiles. Both belong to the order Squamata.
- Both have characteristically long bodies.
- Also, both have dry skin covered with scales.
- And, both have a three-chambered heart with two atria and one ventricle.
- Furthermore, they both are cold-blooded animals. Therefore, they use external sources to heat up their body.
- Additionally, both are oviparous. This means they lay eggs.
- Moreover, both are carnivores.
- Besides, both produce venom as an antipredator adaptation.
Difference Between Lizard and Snake
Lizard refers to a reptile that typically has a long body and tail, four legs, movable eyelids, and a rough, scaly, or spiny skin, while snake refers to a long limbless reptile which has a short tail, and jaws that are capable of considerable extension. Thus, this is the fundamental difference between lizard and snake.
There is a difference between lizard and snake in their classification too. Lizard belongs to the order Squamata while snakes form the clade Ophidia inside the order Squamata.
The largest member of lizards is the Komodo dragon while the largest members of snakes are reticulated python and green anaconda.
An easily observable difference between lizard and snake is that most lizards have four legs while snakes do not have legs.
Also, another difference between lizard and snake is that the lizards have a fleshy tongue while snakes have a forked tongue, which is thin.
Eyelids is also an anatomical difference between lizard and snake. Lizards have eyelids while snakes do not have eyelids.
Furthermore, the lizards have ear holes slightly covered by flaps while snakes do not have ear holes.
Moreover, lizards have a long tail while snakes have a short tail.
The vent of lizards is a long way from the tip of their tail while the vent of snakes is a long way from their head.
Scales on the Skin
Lizards have more scales on their belly while snakes have fewer scales on their belly. Furthermore, the scales on the back are similar to the scales in the belly in lizards while the scales on the back are not similar to the scales in the belly in snakes. Hence, this is another difference between lizard and snake.
Shedding Body Parts
Additionally, lizards shed their tail in the time of danger while snakes shed their complete outer layer of the skin.
The lizard is a type of reptile belonging to the order Squamata. It usually has four legs, eyelids, ear holes covered with flaps, long tails, more scales in the belly, etc. In contrast, a snake is a legless reptile belonging to the clade Ophidia under the order Squamata. It usually has no eyelids, ear holes, short tails, fewer scales in the belly, etc. Therefore, the main difference between lizard and snake is the presence of legs, eyelids, earholes, and scales in their body.
1. “Komodo dragon with tongue” By Mark Dumont – Flickr: There Be Dragons (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Coast Garter Snake” By Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA – Found under log (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia