By Zoe Samuel on April 26, 2018
Snakes: love them or hate them, they are endlessly fascinating. These legless residents of our planet have had a pretty bad reputation in many cultures. It's not just that a large percentage of them are venomous or stranglers, it's also that in Abrahamaic tradition, they're literally responsible for the fall of mankind from the Garden of Eden. That is, God is said to have taken their legs off as punishment for tricking humanity into eating the fruit of the Forbidden Tree.
What's interesting about this story is that it has a certain accuracy to it. Snakes probably evolve from an ancestor that had legs, probably some kind of burrowing lizard. Since then, snakes have diverged into more than 3,000 separate species, some absolutely harmless and others extremely dangerous. Some are quite scary to look at while others are pretty darn cute. It's important to be able to tell the bad from the good, for your safety and that of the more benign snakes who play a useful role in ecosystems. After all, you certainly don't want to kill an innocent garter snake because you've mistaken it for a ribbon snake. So let's see how much you know about our scaly friends!