[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: Did you know snakes have toes?
SPEAKER 2: Snakes have toes?
SPEAKER 3: No way.
SPEAKER 4: Really? What? Are you sure?
SPEAKER 5: I don't think so.
SPEAKER 6: Oh, come on.
HOWARD EVANS: I want to show you the toes of a snake. I'm Dr. Howard Evans at the Veterinary College of Cornell University. I'm in the anatomy department. And I'd like to show you that toes of a python. This is a burmese python, about 12-feet long. And here's the tail-end, right here.
And you'll notice, at the tail-end, it narrows kind of abruptly. And it's right here that the toes stick out from the pelvis. They actually have a pelvic girdle inside. On a rubberized tail-- this is a tail of a python. And I've rubberized it, so it's all rubber now. But you can see you have one toe, here. And here's the other toe, over there. So the toe here is very short. It's just the last half inch.
And the rest of this is the pelvis. So the toe is attached to the pelvis. Essentially the leg has been lost, but the toe has been kept. If we had a skeleton of a python or a boa, the toenails stick out of the skin right at the end, here, just the very tip. And the other bone that connects with the rest of the skeleton is the pelvis.
So if somebody shows you a pet boa or python or anaconda, look at the hind-end, where the vent opens up. And then, on each side, there will be a little scale sticking out with a toenail. So some snakes, as we say, boas and pythons and little worm snakes do have remnants of the hind limb. And those are the remnants of the fact that snakes came from lizards, and lizards have feet. So although there's no leg on the snake, there are toes.
SPEAKER 1: Snakes have toes. Now you know.
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This "Did you know?" video feature explores a little known and interesting fact pulled from the medley of human knowledge. Dr. Howard Evans, emeritus professor of anatomy at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine presents an interesting discussion about the toes of a snake.