Worms and snakes are not related. Snakes are vertebrates that belong to the reptile family. Worms are invertebrates that belong to a wide variety of families.
Most people think worms and snakes are the same because they look alike, but in fact they have very different evolutionary histories. Nevertheless, before we knew better, the “worm” used to be a grouping in taxonomy where snakes belonged. This grouping was recognized in the 13th century but is now long obsolete.
Identifying a Worm vs Snake
Many snakes have scaly exteriors. Many worms look like they have skin. Worms have epidermises, some of which are brown, black, and even pinkish in color. Snakes have skin, too, but they are covered in scales.
Snakes are typically dry. Worms, on the other hand, are moist. Because worms breathe through their skin, they secrete a kind of mucus to keep them wet.
Also, snakes are predators. If one would just take the time to observe, snakes will fight back and hiss. Worms cannot do this. It is not to say that all snakes hiss. All snakes have the physiological components to hiss, but not all of them do this.
Where do Snakes Come From?
The snake belongs to the class Reptilia. Below is the snake’s taxonomy.
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Phylum – Chordata
- Class – Reptilia
- Order – Squamata
Next to the order is the sub-order, which is called Serpentes. After the sub-order is the Family. It is at this point where many snakes begin to differ. There are many snake families that help scientists group them based on their structure and DNA.
For example, the viper family is the Viperidae. Boas belong to Boidae, and pythons to Pythonidae. There is a huge debate as to the taxonomy of snakes. For example, some scientists contend that boas and pythons belong to the same family.
Where do Worms Come From?
The worm is a huge collection of many invertebrate animals. Below is the taxonomy.
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Phylum – Annelida
- Class – Oligochaeta
- Order – Ophistophora
Like the snake, the humble worm branches out in many orders, families, and sub-orders. Thus, for example, the common earthworm belongs to the order Abranchiata and not Ophistophora.
Although some worms may belong to the same family, not all have the same living conditions. For example, some burrow and some live in water. Some even live inside of human beings and animals as parasites.
If Worms are not Snakes, are they Insects?
No, worms are not insects. They are, however, invertebrates. Some people think that worms are insects because they have similar qualities to caterpillars, which are insects.
Worms do not have exoskeletons. Insects do have exoskeletons. Worms also breathe through their skin, while many insects have a tube called the trachea. Humans also have a trachea.
The confusion between worms and insects comes from the naming convention. Many insects have “worm” names. Examples of these are silkworm, glow-worm, and tequila worms. However, these insects are not worms.
How many Species of Snakes are There?
There are more than 3,000 species of snakes. Snakes thrive almost everywhere in the world, except in Antarctica and some countries.
There are no snakes in the following countries:
- New Zealand
More than 600 kinds of snakes that are dangerous to humans. They are venomous. However, only about 200 of them are significantly deadly to a human being.
The most common snakes shown on TV and other shows are the dangerous ones. Because of this, humans have a natural fear of snakes. However, as data tells, there are more non-dangerous snakes than that those that pose a serious threat to humans.
How many Species of Worms are There?
There are many types of worms. The earthworm alone has more than 2,700 species. Overall, there are millions of species of worms in the world. It is impossible to name them all, but below are some major categories.
- Platyhelminthes or flatworms – there are 20,000 species for this kind of worm. They have flat bodies that are unsegmented. Many of them live in the water. They have a mouth but no anus.
- Annelida or segmented worms – there are 15,000 species of this kind of worm. Many of them are burrowers, which means they live underground. They have a mouth, a gut, and an anus. Some of them live in water too.
- Nematoda or roundworms – there are 25,000 species of this kind of worm. Like the flatworm, it has no anus. However, it has a mouth and also a gut.
Some examples of flatworms are marine flatworms and tapeworms. The flatworm has a solid body, and it does not have blood. Roundworms have long bodies that taper in the tail.
Are Worms Venomous?
No, worms are not venomous. They are, however, dangerous. There are parasitic worms that can live inside a human body.
Parasitic worms are those that need a host to live. There are many of them, and some will find their way into the human body. Some examples are flatworms and roundworms.
However, as far as venom is concerned, worms are not venomous. Worms do not even bite. Some people claim that they do, but this is rather the result of confusion than facts.
Some amphibians are worm-like. An example of this is a family called caecilians. At the outset, they look like giant black earthworms, but they are not worms.
These things have sharp teeth. New research also suggests that they may only be the only amphibian to possess venom from their bite. Some amphibians, like frogs, are poisonous but not venomous.
It is this kind of animal that many people confuse as worms because they look like one. Technically, they are not worms.
There are 200 known species of caecilians, and many of them live underground. They are often found in tropical areas in the world.
Summary: Are Worms and Snakes Related?
Worms and snakes are not the same. At first glance, one would think that they are the same because of their cylindrical body shapes. They also wriggle and glide similarly. Snakes are vertebrates—they have a skeleton.
Worms are invertebrates but are not insects, but many are confused about this because they also have similarities.
There are about 3,000 species of snakes that are known to science and millions of species of worms. Some worms are dangerous, and one is better leaving them alone.
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