Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- An order of the class Reptilia, without developed limbs, with mobile quadrate bone and separate mandibular rami; the snakes or serpents. The name was introduced to replace Serpentes of Linnæus, and at first included not only serpents in a proper sense, but certain footless lizards, and even the amphibians of the family Cæciliidæ. In Ophidia proper there is never any trace of fore limbs, and at most very rudimentary hind limbs, represented externally by mere anal spurs or processes of the integument. There is no sternum. The ribs are very numerous, and are so arranged as to become indirect organs of locomotion by their action upon the skin and so on the scales of the belly. The vertebræ are procœlous, very numerous, not united in any sacrum, and bearing no chevron-bones. The skull has no quadratojugal arch nor parietal foramen; the lower jaw is articulated with a movable quadrate bone, and its rami are connected only by fibrous tissue. The bones of both jaws are generally freely movable, so that the mouth is enormously distensible. The tongue is slender, forked, and protrusile, subserving a tactile office. Teeth are present in one or both jaws, usually in both; they are numerous and sharp, and in venomous Ophidia some of the upper ones, usually a single pair, are eularged, hooked, grooved, or apparently perforate, and thus converted into poison-fangs. The eyes have no movable lids, the cuticle extending directly over the eyeball. The cuticle is scaly, forming many very regularly arranged rows of scales on the upper parts, and usually larger modified scutes on the under side, called
gastrostegesand urosteges, serving to some extent for locomotion. There is a pair of extracloacal penes in the male; the female is oviparous or ovoviviparous. Ophidia are variously subdivided — by Duméril and Bibron into Opoterodonta, Aglyphodonta, Proteroglypha, and Solenoglypha, an arrangement substantially now current, though with sorrre modifications. Cope's latest arrangement is Epanodonta, Catodonta, Tortricina, which are opoterodont, Asinea, which are aglyphodont, Proteroglypha, and Solenoglypha. There are 20 families and about 300 genera, of which more than 200 belong to the family Colubridæ alone. See also cut under Python.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) The suborder of reptiles which includes the serpents; called also
- n. snakes.
“After all, if Commander Artemus Bishop can outwit the Serpent Empire of Saurian-Five, why should I be intimidated by a crate of squamous Ophidia.”
“Monstrous Ophidia are mentioned in sober history, e.g. that which delayed the army of”
“As a child, he had shrunk from visiting the serpent house at the Zoo; and, later, when he had come to man's estate and had put off childish things, and settled down in real earnest to his self-appointed mission of drinking up all the alcoholic fluid in England, the distaste for Ophidia had lingered.”
“Serpents, or Snakes, says the Encyclopaedia, are reptiles of the saurian class Ophidia, characterised by an elongated, cylindrical, limbless, scaly form, and distinguished from lizards by the fact that the halves”
“Monstrous Ophidia are mentioned in sober history, e.g. that which delayed the army of Regulus.”
“In the museum, Cuvier's classification has been followed, with slight variations; that is to say, the reptiles have been re-divided into four classes: -- the Sauria, or Lizards (in which class some modern naturalists, as Merrem and others, include serpents); the Ophidia, or”
“Ophidia Artworkbooklet-1. jpg [738.76 KB] 01 - This Voice Inside. mp3 [12.76 MB]”
““Actually,” he said, “this life form is considerably less evolved than either the Serpentes or Ophidia suborders.”
“03 - Neverland - Ophidia. mp3 [12.79 MB] 04 - Neverland - Will Of God. mp3 [6.77 MB]”
“If we should consider as a result of _degradation_ the loss of legs seen in the snakes, the _Ophidia_ should be regarded as constituting the lowest order of reptiles; but it would be an error to admit this consideration.”
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