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Name: Brenda C.
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/19/2004

One of my students asked me how snakes have babies-Not the laying the egg part but just exactly where do they come out?

Hi Brenda,

Snakes have an opening called a cloaca. This is used to excrete waste, for mating and also the eggs or baby snakes come out through this opening. You can see the cloaca on the under side of the snake about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way from the head to the tail.

Laura Hungerford, DVM, MPH, PhD

Hi Brenda!

i understand that your student wants to know from where the snake egg emerges...You must remember him that even most snakes lay eggs (oviparous) some of them deliver a baby, outside the eggshell ready to live (viviparous). The reproductive system of the reptiles including the snakes are simpler than the one of the mamals and resembles the birds . There are both in males and females an opening to the exterior called "cloaca". The cloaca is the passage from a internal chamber into which the digestive, urinary and reproductive systems empty. So both the baby snake or the non-hatched egg go to the exterior through the cloaca. Incidentaly, inside the female snake body there is a tract called oviduct provided with conditions for egg fertilization and embryo formation.

Hope this answer your question and thanks for asking NEWTON.

(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)

Internal chamber into which the digestive, urinary and reproductive systems empty, opening to the outside through the anus.

Both eggs of egg laying snakes and the young of live bearers come out through the cloaca, a sort of "general purpose" opening at the base of the tail.

J. Elliott

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