are eels related to snakes

Are Eels Related to Snakes?

It’s often asked if eels are related to snakes. This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, as things are not always as straightforward as they seem. In this article, we’ll explore the connection – if any – between eels and snakes.

What Are Eels?

At its most basic, an eel is a type of fish that can be found in the ocean and even some bodies of freshwater. The most prominent varieties of eels include:

  • Conger Eel
  • Electric Eel
  • Moray Eel
  • Garden Eel

Like most fish, eels can range in size from just a few inches, to a few feet long. They can also have quite a varied diet, depending on their species; some may subsist primarily from mollusks, while others may prefer fish or squid.

What About Snakes?

On the other hand, snakes are reptiles, not fish. As such, they have a totally different anatomy than fish, and some key differences:

  • Bones – Snakes have bones (vertebrae) and eels do not.
  • Scales – Snakes typically have scales over their body, while most eel species are scaleless. However, some species of eels do possess small scale-like protrusions.
  • Fins – Snakes also lack fins while eels do have them.

Are Eels Related to Snakes?

With all that said, the answer is no, eels are not related to snakes. While they may share some similarities in terms of appearance, an eel and a snake are still quite different creatures, and have very distinct evolutionary histories.

However, it should be noted that there are species of animals that can display traits of both eels and snakes. For example, some species of caecilians – a family of burrowing amphibians – possess eel-like bodies but also have external scales.

In conclusion, it’s quite clear that while eels and snakes share some similarities, they are not actually related to one another in any way. Therefore, if you were ever wondering if eels were related to snakes, you now know the answer – they aren’t.

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