Pelvic spur

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External view of anal spurs on a male, albino burmese python
Skeleton of a Boelens python showing the bones inside the anal spurs

Pelvic spurs are the externally visible portion of the vestigial remnants of legs found on each side of the cloaca in primitive snakes, such as boas and pythons.[1] The remnants of a pelvis and femur, which have no connection with the spine, simply "float" in the muscle mass.[1] The femur protrudes from the snake's body and is covered by a horny spur, which resembles a spur or claw.[1] Males' spurs are generally longer and more pointed than females', and are used for clasping and tickling during courtship and mating,[2] as well as combat with other males in some species.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Pough, F. Harvey; Andrews, Robin M.; Cadle, John E.; Crump, Martha L.; Savitsky, Alan H.; Wells, Kentwood D. (2003). Herpetology: Third Edition (3 ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780131008496.
  2. ^ Gillingham, James C.; Chambers, Jeffrey A. (1982-02-23). "Courtship and Pelvic Spur Use in the Burmese Python, Python molurus bivittatus". Copeia. 1982 (1): 193–196. doi:10.2307/1444292. JSTOR 1444292.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Charles C.; Murphy, James B.; Mitchell, Lyndon A. (June 1978). "Combat Bouts with Spur Use in the Madagascan Boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis)". Herpetologica. 34 (2): 207–212. JSTOR 3891678.