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Snake, river, United States
Snake, river, 1,038 mi (1,670 km) long, NW United States, the chief tributary of the Columbia; once called the Lewis River. The Snake rises in NW Wyoming, in Yellowstone National Park, flows through Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, then S and W into Idaho and northwest to its junction with the Henrys Fork River. The combined stream runs southwest, then northwest, crossing southern Idaho through the Snake River plain; there are several notable falls. The Snake makes a bend into Oregon and turns north to form the Idaho-Oregon and Idaho-Washington lines (receiving several tributaries, including the Boise and Salmon rivers), then turns at Lewiston, Idaho (at the mouth of the Clearwater River), and flows generally west to join the Columbia River near Pasco, Wash. Hell's Canyon is the greatest of the Snake's many gorges and one of the deepest in the world. Extending c.125 mi (200 km) N along the Oregon-Idaho line, it reaches a maximum depth of c.7,900 ft (2,410 m).
The Snake was explored by the Lewis and Clark expedition (1803–6) and was of major importance in U.S. expansion into the Pacific Northwest. The river is a major source of electricity, having numerous hydroelectric power plants. The upper and middle courses of the Snake and its tributaries are much used for irrigation by private projects (one of the most notable being at Twin Falls) and by projects of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, including the Minidoka project, the Boise project, the Palisades project, and the Owyhee project. Four navigation and hydroelectric power projects along the lower Snake provide slack water navigation from the mouth of the Snake 140 mi (225 km) upstream to Lewiston, Idaho. The projects are linked with the navigation system on the Columbia River. The late 1990s brought efforts to restore portions of the river by removing gravel and establishing new islands.
snake, in zoology
Locomotion and Limblessness
A snake moves by means of muscular contraction, which can produce several types of locomotion, the commonest types being undulation and straight-line movement. Straight-line movement is aided by the ventral plates, elongated scales on the abdomen that overlap with their open ends pointing toward the tail. These plates can be moved forward by means of muscles attached to the ribs.
It is believed that snakes are descended from lizards, but how and why they evolved toward limblessness is uncertain. Some paleontologists have held that limblessness was an evolutionary advantage in the dense vegetation that formed the early environment of snakes, or that it developed to facilitate burrowing habits, but others believe that the earliest snakes evolved in an aquatic environment and are descended from marine reptiles related to mosasaurs. The fossil evidence for a land or marine origin is inconclusive; the earliest known snakelike reptiles date to some 167 million years ago.
Types of Snakes
The approximately 2,700 snake species, of which about four fifths are nonvenomous, are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical zones of the world (except in New Zealand, Ireland, and some isolated oceanic islands) and are found in greatest profusion in the tropics. About two thirds of all snake species belong to the family Colubridae; most of these are nonvenomous. Among the harmless colubrid snakes of North America are the garter snakes (including the ribbon snake), the water snakes, the green, or grass, snakes, the black snakes, the racers, the king snakes (including the milk snake), and the bull, hognose, and rat snakes. The family Boidae (boas and pythons) includes the world's largest snakes, the South American anaconda and the Asian reticulated python, as well as the smaller boa constrictor and the tree and sand boas.
Most poisonous New World snakes belong to the pit viper family; these include the copperhead, water moccasin, rattlesnake, fer-de-lance, and bushmaster. Venomous Old World snakes are the true vipers, including the adder and the asp, and members of the cobra family, including the mamba of Africa and the krait of Asia. The poisonous coral snakes of the New World also belong to this family. The venomous sea snakes inhabit tropical oceans.
Snakes are of major importance as pest controllers because of their extensive predation on destructive mammals such as rats and mice. Some, like the sea snakes and pythons, are highly regarded as food in Asia but, although most are probably edible, snakes are not widely used for meat. The skin is often used for belts, bags, and shoes. Venom is removed from snakes for use in treating certain diseases and to make antivenin for snakebites.
See also snake worship.
See A. H. and A. A. Wright, A Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada (2 vol., 1957); K. L. Williams and V. Wallach, Snakes of the World (2 vol., 1990).
Snake(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The Snake is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. It refers to one of the 12 earthly branches that are used in Chinese astrology, together with the 10 heavenly stems. Such a branch designates one day every 12 days: the days are named according to a sexagesimal (60) cycle, made of 10 series of 12 branches.
Attractive, smart, hateful of vulgarity, and sometimes narcissistic, the Snake has a disconcerting manner. Reserved and passive, he is a solitary person, but he fascinates. Elusive, he prefers to go around obstacles. Remarkably able to keep his composure, he is materialistic, very perceptive (sometimes visionary), and he makes an excellent organizer. He is also a generous, emotional, even fragile person who can prove to be very devoted, in spite of his apparent reserve. He often seems lazy until he finds his real goal in life.
a river in the USA, a left tributary of the Columbia River. The Snake River measures approximately 1,670 km long and drains an area of 282,300 sq km. Originating in the Rocky Mountains, in Yellowstone National Park, it skirts the eastern edge of the Columbia Plateau, flowing in places through canyons that have a total length of approximately 400 km and measure as much as 800 m deep. It forms waterfalls, including Shoshone Falls (65 m high). The river is fed by snow and rain. High water lasts from April to June. The mean flow rate at Clarkston, near the mouth, is 1,390 cu m per sec.
The Snake River is navigable for small ships as far as the city of Lewiston. Hydroelectric power plants and reservoirs are located at various sites on the river, including American Falls. The river is used for irrigation. The cities of Idaho Falls and Twin Falls are located on the Snake River.
What does it mean when you dream about a snake?
Serpents are ancient symbols, often associated with goddesses of fertility. Because they live in the ground, serpents may represent the healing, nurturing earth; they can also symbolize knowledge. In some cultures in southern Asia, serpents symbolize primordial spiritual power. Alternatively, they may be emblems of the mysterious dangers of the underworld. The Christian tradition incorporated the latter meaning into its mythology, making snakes an embodiment of evil, particularly the evil of temptation (e.g., the snake in the Garden of Eden). For this reason, in Western cultures especially, snakes are images for people who are sneaky and deceptive. The cliche, “they behave like a snake in the grass,” captures this derogatory reference.