CLASSIFICATION OF OPHIOSAURUS : GLASS SNAKE
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)
Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).
Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).
Order :- SQUAMATA (Lizards and snakes with horny epidermal scales or shields. Quadrate bone movable. Vertebrae procoelous. Anal opening transverse).
Sub-order :- SAURIA OR LACERTILIA (Body slender, limbs 4 . Pterygoid in contact with quadrate eyelids movable ).
Family :- ANGUIDAE ( Limbs absent. Body selender).
Genus :- Ophiosaurus : Glass Snake
Ophiosaurus is commonly found in U.S.A., Mexico, Western Asia, Africa and India. The Indian species is O.gracilis found in the Eastern Himalayas.
HABIT AND HABITAT
It is a burrowing animal.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF OPHIOSAURUS : GLASS SNAKE
- Also known as glass snake.
- Body is short, snake-like, having greenish brown colouration with longitudinal stripes and divided into head, trunk and tail.
- Rest of the body is covered with rectangular epidermal scales arranged in circular and longitudinal rows. Beneath scales, the body plates have hard texture.
- Head contains mouth, nostrils and eyes. Each eyes with eyelids are reduced due to burrowing life. Behind eyes are tympanum.
- Ventrolateral longitudinal skin folds terminate into two locomotory spikes near cloaca.
Limbs are absent. Tail is fragile and breaks more quickly than in any other lizard.
Ophiosaurus is distinguished from snakes by a narrow gap of mouth, movable eyelids and tympanic holes and from limbless Amphibia by the presence of epidermal scales and like earthworms and a long tail. A group of American limbless lizards (worm lizards) have head shields, annular bands like earthworms and no scales.
Since the animal is without limbs and has above features, hence it is Ophiosaurus or Glass Snake.