glass snake

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glass snake,

common name for the snakelike legless lizards of the genus Ophisaurus found in the S and central United States and in Eurasia. The shiny, scaled body is gray or greenish brown, sometimes striped above and whitish below. The American species, Ophisaurus ventralis, is 2 to 3 ft (60–90 cm) long; two thirds of the length is tail. The tail of a glass snake breaks easily from the body, either whole or in pieces, if struck; the lizard regenerates a new, usually shorter, tail without a real backbone. Like other lizards, and unlike snakes, the glass snake has eyelids and ear openings. Its tongue is broad. It feeds mostly on insects, worms, and slugs. A burrower, it lives in fields and meadows and seldom appears above ground in daylight. Glass snakes are classifed in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Anguidae.
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