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glass snake

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 Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Anguidae.

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Anguidae

Anguidae (lateral fold lizards, slow-worms, glass snakes; class Squamata, suborder Sauria) A family of reptiles whose members vary from four-legged lizards to legless snake-like forms (e.g. Anguis fragilis, the slow-worm or blindworm, and Ophisaurus apodus, the European glass lizard or glass snake). All have a forked tongue (unlike skinks of similar form), mobile eyelids, and tail autotomy. Some (e.g. A. fragilis) are ovoviviparous, others (e.g. O. apodus) egg-layers. There are about 40 species, found in America, Europe, Asia, and N. Africa.

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glass snake

glass snake (glass lizard) Legless lizard found in North America, Eurasia, and Africa. The cylindrical body has a groove along each side and is mostly brown or green. Length: 60–120cm (24–48in). Family Anguidae; genus Ophisaurus.

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glass snake

glass snake (Ophisaurus apodus) See ANGUIDAE.

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