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To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung.
Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca.
Lizards have evolved elongate bodies without limbs or with greatly reduced limbs about twenty five times independently via convergent evolution, leading to many lineages of legless lizards.
Legless lizards resemble snakes, but several common groups of legless lizards have eyelids and external ears, which snakes lack, although this rule is not universal (see Amphisbaenia, Dibamidae, and Pygopodidae).
Neck, lumbar and pelvic vertebrae are very reduced in number (only 2–10 lumbar and pelvic vertebrae are present), while only a short tail remains of the caudal vertebrae.
However, the tail is still long enough to be of important use in many species, and is modified in some aquatic and tree-dwelling species.
Living snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica, and on most smaller land masses; exceptions include some large islands, such as Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, the Hawaiian archipelago, and the islands of New Zealand, and many small islands of the Atlantic and central Pacific oceans.