Sierra Lee

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Snakes represent a highly diverse group of vertebrates in both morphological and ecological ways, including a vast array of habitat and food sources. Snakes have exhibited special adaptations for their lifestyle that include skull morphological changes such as cranial shape, increased gape, and flexibility, which act to distinguish this clade from other vertebrates. Because snakes have evolved to be limbless due to their ability to burrow, the selective pressures on the snake skull are likely to be high. While some studies have been conducted researching the correlation between evolving skull shape and dietary specializations and habitat, little is known about skull size in relation to habitat associations and whether snakes are terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal, or marine. In this study, I look further into the relationship between habitat and habitat associations of Dipsadine snakes and ask whether or not habitat associations are a significant ecological driver of morphological changes in snake skulls.

Publication Date






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