Snake Micro Scales Reveal Secrets of Sidewinding and Slithering

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Image shows the microstructure of belly scales found on the Mexican lance-headed rattlesnake. The structures were different from those found on other snakes. (Credit: Tai-De Li)

A sidewinder snake is shown in a sand-filled arena that researchers used to understand the unique motion they use to climb sandy slopes. (Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech)

Image shows scale microstructures found on sidewinder snakes. The structures differ from those of other snakes, and researchers believe those differences allow the unique movement of sidewinders on sand. (Credit: Tai-De Li)