Snake Moving in a Straight Line, Viral Video: Fact Check

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Snake Moving in a Straight Line, Viral Video


A Snake that is Not Slithering and Moving in a Straight Line

Other Versions

A non slithering snake

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Fact Check:

An intriguing video is viral online alleging to show a strange Snake Not Slithering and Moving along a Road in a Straight Line. It appears to show a Striped Snake crawling forward like a Caterpillar – unlike most snakes we have seen in our lives. The video is real and in fact shows a not very common method of locomotion in some snakes.

Video of Snake Moving in a Straight Line

A Reddit user SlurpedMustache shared the interesting video on 10th May 2020, which garnered over 55 thousand up votes as of this writing. The strange movement of the snake surprised many viewers and some came up with various explanations.

While one user commented, there are thousands of tiny feet under the snake’s body; another said it is an obese Caterpillar. One user joked what you see in the video is a costume controlled by someone or some small creature inside. As a matter of fact, snakes used to have legs, but they have evolved.

Puff Adder Snake Rectilinear Locomotion

The video in circulation shows Puff Adder (Bitis arietans), a venomous viper Snake species found in Africa and other places. The snake can move in Rectilinear Locomotion or rectilinear progression. It is a mode of locomotion most often associated with snakes. Although most snakes are capable of moving in such fashion, it appears in heavy-bodied species like terrestrial pythons and boas. Below is an old video showing a similar, Puff Adder snake in rectilinear locomotion. The next video shows and explains how the straight line movement takes place, as in “walking on ribs”.

As a matter of fact, the movement takes place from the muscles and the skin of such snakes to produce forward motion. Unlike natural movement of snakes, in rectilinear locomotion, the snake flexes its body only when turning. The video below shows another type of Snake, Great Basin Gopher using the Rectilinear Locomotion. Rectilinear locomotion is extremely slow (between 1–6 cm per second) and is almost noiseless. So, many species of snakes employ it while stalking prey. However, the method of movement is mostly used when the space to travel is too constricting to allow for other forms of movement.

Yes, Rectilinear Locomotion is only one of at least five forms of locomotion Snakes follow. Other types of movement are Lateral Undulation (the usual movement), Sidewinding, Concertina movement, and Slide-pushing.

Hoax or Fact:


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Prashanth Damarla