Oct 24, 2022

YouTube Snake “Walks” With 3D-Printed Legs

YouTuber, creator, and inventor Allen Pan wanted to give snakes back their legs, and the experiment’s result was one entertaining video.

In it, Pan teams up with snake enthusiast and breeder GranddaddyHerps, to document the process of 3D printing a meter-long tube with four reptile limbs attached, controlled via a chip embedded into the snake and synced to a laptop.

The subject of the experiment is an unwitting female ball python snake. Once the snake enters the transparent tube, the limbs begin moving and she appears to be enjoying herself. This calm reaction is atypical for this species, which would normally show signs of stress instead of the tongue-sensing and wide-eyed curiosity we see in the video.

While charming, Pan and his video raise intriguing question-Did snakes lose their limbs as part of an evolutionary mistake? The answer is, probably not. Fossil records from approximately 150 million years ago closely resemble modern snakes, with the earliest showing two small hind limbs instead of four.

Snakes with limbs featured image 1 YouTube Snake “Walks” With 3D Printed Legs

Photo Source: Pexels

The gene responsible for these appendages seemed to have switched off around 100 million years ago for all snakes except pythons and boas. These hind limbs, called vestigial legs, have led evolutionary biologists to question what they were used for.

Instead of motion, some theories claim these small “fang bangs” or “spurs” were actually used during mating. They would assist the male and female in securely locking to each other’s pelvic bones. Entertaining experiments aside, snakes will likely remain limbless and loving it for a very long time.

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