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10 Animals Like Snakes (How They’re Similar)

Snakes are interesting legless creatures found in regions around the world. They belong to the reptile family, and share similar traits with several other types of animals. There are other reptiles, and fish, that can be like snakes in multiple different ways.

Collage photo animals like snakes

10 Animals Like Snakes

These 10 animals are like snakes for many reasons, from having similar appearances to being part of the same family, and a few other reasons.

1. American Eel

American Eel
American Eel | image by Clinton & Charles Robertson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Anguilla rostrata
  • How are they like snakes: legless, with a similar appearance

The American eel is a fish that can closely resemble a snake. They are legless, and found in regions of Greenland, Iceland, and Venezuela.

These animals are long, able to reach up to 4 feet, and have slimy skin. Even though American eels are legless, they do have small fins to help them propel through the water.

2. Asian Swamp Eel

Asian Swamp Eel on floor
Asian Swamp Eel on floor | image by USGS.GOV via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Monopterus albus
  • How are they like snakes: similar size and appearance

Just like the American eel, the Asian eel has a similar appearance to snakes, and is sometimes mistaken for one of these reptiles. However, these animals are fish, and as adults they may be 3 feet long.

They have a single dorsal fin, but no pectoral fins like the American eel. These fish are native to Australia, South America, Central America, and Africa.

3. Crocodile

Crocodile | Image by miniformat65 from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Crocodylidae
  • How are they like snakes: found in similar habitats, and also a reptile

Crocodiles are massive reptiles, putting them in the same family as snakes. While they do not look like the legless reptiles, crocodiles can often be found in some of the same regions that snakes live in.

Crocodiles have even been known to eat water snakes they come across. They thrive in swamps, lakes, and rivers, and are covered in thick scales.

4. American Alligator

American Alligator
American Alligator | image by JakeWilliamHeckey via Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Alligator mississippiensis
  • How are they like snakes: both are reptiles, and can sometimes be found in the same habitats

The American alligator is only found in the United States, as the name suggests, and they share many of the same habitats as various North American snake species. These massive reptiles will sometimes prey on snakes, in addition to fish and small mammals.

Their huge jaws and teeth make it just as easy to go after larger prey, such as deer or coyotes. American alligators can reach several feet long, with strong tails that let them swim quickly through the water.

5. Green Moray

Green Moray Eel underwater
Green Moray Eel underwater | image by mark6mauno via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Gymnothorax funebris
  • How are they like snakes: Has a long, legless body.

Similar to snakes, the green Moray eel has a long body with no legs. These eels also appear flat, and have fearsome jaws and teeth for hunting and killing prey. Moray eels look like sea serpents, and despite the name they are not actually green.

Instead, they are covered in algae, and are actually a brownish color. Green Moray eels live in regions of the Atlantic Ocean.

6. Short-Finned Eel

Freshly caught Short-finned Eel
Freshly caught Short-finned Eel | image by wildroo via iNaturalist | CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Scientific name: Anguilla australis
  • How are they like snakes: They can look like to water snakes.
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Another fish that has a similar appearance to various water snakes is the short-finned eel. Their bodies are long and slender, and adults reach an average of 3 feet long. Short-finned eels can be found in the oceans near Australia, South Pacific, and New Zealand.

7. Skink

Great plains skink
Great plains skink | image by Todd Morris via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Scincidae
  • How are they like snakes: Skinks have a long, snake-like body that is smooth in appearance.

Skinks are lizards that are often mistaken for snakes when people don’t take notice of their short legs. This is because they have long and smooth bodies, plus a long tongue similar to a snake’s.

Some types of skinks will only get a few inches long, while others can get much longer. There are various species found across North America, often in some of the same regions that common snake species are found in. Similar to snakes, they can feed on crickets, roaches, spiders, and other types of insects.

8. Eastern Glass Lizard

Eastern Glass Lizard slithering
Eastern Glass Lizard slithering | image by Ashley Wahlberg (Tubbs) via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Ophisaurus ventralis
  • How are they like snakes: They are very similar in appearance.

The eastern glass lizard is one of the animals on this list that most closely resembles snakes. These reptiles can be found in the eastern regions of the United States, including South Caroline and Georgia.

They are legless lizards, and if they feel they are in danger they can break their tail off to get away. Eastern glass lizards are capable of swimming and climbing up high trees.

9. California Legless Lizard


  • Scientific name: Anniella pulchra
  • How are they like snakes: Also a reptile with similar long and slender bodies.

The California legless lizard thrives in coastal habitats, and when spotted in the wild it can be confused for a snake. There are a few small traits that can tell them apart from snakes.

They have forked tongues and eyelids, unlike snakes. These reptiles have similar diets consisting of insects, like crickets and spiders.

10. Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon in studio
Bearded Dragon in studio | image by nick ta via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Pogona
  • How are they like snakes: Both are reptiles commonly kept as pets.

Due to a docile nature and relatively easy care requirements, bearded dragons have become a popular pet choice, just like many types of snakes. Bearded dragons can be fed many different vegetables as well as insects, such as crickets, spiders, and other invertebrates that small snakes might eat.

However, this is where many of the similarities end, as bearded dragons and snakes do not share a similar appearance. These reptiles have spiked backs and necks, which are useful to deter predators, but present no harm to people. So in reality, bearded dragons and snakes only have a few things in common.


There are animals around the world that are like snakes for a number of reasons. Some of these animals are also reptiles, while others look so much like snakes they are often mistaken for one. These 10 animals are some of the most like snakes found in the world.

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