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Old 03-06-2017, 09:26 AM
Rick Sanchez Rick Sanchez is offline
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How big are Komodo Dragons?

Today's Google doodle is an interactive quiz about Komodo Dragons. The first question is: "True or False: Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards on the planet." I figured it was the anaconda so I clicked false, but apparently that was incorrect.

Now, far be it from me to argue with Google, but I compared stats and:

Code:
             Komodo Dragon               Anaconda

Max size:       3m                       8.8m
Weight:       150lbs                     550lbs
It seems clear to me that Anaconda > Komodo Dragon. So why does Google insist on the opposite?
  #2  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:28 AM
Teuton Teuton is offline
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Snakes aren't lizards.

EDIT: The largest *reptiles* are saltwater crocodiles. Even among snakes, there seems to be a bit of controversy, with Burmese Pythons also being huge.

Last edited by Teuton; 03-06-2017 at 09:31 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:48 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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[Alan Davies] The Blue Whale! [/Alan Davies]
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:00 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Besides for what Teuton said, your numbers for anacondas are also way off. Per Wiki
Quote:
The green anaconda is the world's heaviest and one of the world's longest snakes, reaching 5.21 m (17.1 ft) long.[2] More typical mature specimens reportedly can range up to 5 m (16.4 ft), with the females, at around a mean length of 4.6 m (15.1 ft), being generally much larger in adulthood than the male, which averages around 3 m (9.8 ft).[3][4][5] Weights are less well studied, though will reportedly range from 30 to 70 kg (66 to 154 lb) in an average-range adult.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:10 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Lizards are all reptiles with overlapping scales (Lepidosauria) other than snakes and turtles. So snakes aren't lizards because lizards are defined as not being snakes. So the anaconda isn't a lizard.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:25 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Besides for what Teuton said, your numbers for anacondas are also way off. Per Wiki
Maybe the OP would post some pictures of his anaconda.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:27 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Then there's my work on behalf of the International Komodo Dragon Foundation. To protect the Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, a ferocious carnivore, found on the steep-sloped island of Komodo in the lesser Sunda chain of the Indonesian Archipelago and the nearby islands of Rinja, Padar, and Flores.
  #8  
Old 03-06-2017, 10:51 AM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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Where can these creatures be found?
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:07 AM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Bats aren't bugs.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:16 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Wait, they aren't commode dragons?

This will seriously change my bathroom habits.
  #11  
Old 03-06-2017, 11:19 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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I got a chuckle one day at the San Diego Zoo's dragon enclosure when a woman exclaimed to her child, "Look, it's a giant monitoring lizard!"
  #12  
Old 03-06-2017, 11:34 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Where can these creatures be found?
The island of Komodo (part of Indonesia).
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:39 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Bats aren't bugs.
Look, who's giving this report?
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:40 AM
ticker ticker is offline
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Where can these creatures be found?
They find you.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:45 AM
Riemann Riemann is online now
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They find you.
So, Russia?
  #16  
Old 03-06-2017, 12:17 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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The island of Komodo (part of Indonesia).
Also, on the Indonesian islands of Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.
  #17  
Old 03-06-2017, 12:55 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teuton View Post
Snakes aren't lizards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Lizards are all reptiles with overlapping scales (Lepidosauria) other than snakes and turtles.
Close, but not exactly true. Rhynchocephalians (represented today only by tuataras) are also lepidosaurs but not lizards, while turtles are not lepidosaurs.

While it's legitimate to distinguish between lizards and snakes in a popular sense, it should also be pointed out that from a cladistic point of view snakes are just one kind of lizard. Snakes are more closely related to some kinds of lizards than those lizards are related to other lizards, making "lizard" a polyphyletic group in the taxonomic sense.

Last edited by Colibri; 03-06-2017 at 12:56 PM.
  #18  
Old 03-06-2017, 01:23 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Now tell them about the legless lizards. That aren't snakes.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:28 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Colibri + Fotheringay-Phipps give the correct answer I believe. Rick Sanchez you can get a technical pass on the lizard/snake thing as Colibri noted ( depending on which systematist you query ), but google was lying to you. There probably has never been an anaconda that reached 550 lbs - that is just a fantasy estimate for a fantasy length that has never been verified and probably never will be.

The heaviest ever verified Komodo dragon weighed 366 lbs ( including a full stomach, which probably added a lot ), which beats the largest verified anaconda at 215 lbs.
  #20  
Old 03-06-2017, 01:29 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Now tell them about the legless lizards. That aren't snakes.
Also the legless amphibians that aren't snakes.
  #21  
Old 03-06-2017, 01:31 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Now tell them about the legless lizards. That aren't snakes.
This is kind of like the monkeys and apes thing where pedants used to be able to "correct" people who referred to apes as monkeys. As it turns out, cladistically speaking apes are just one kind of monkey (being more closely related to Old World Monkey than the latter are to New World Monkeys). If snakes are just legless lizards, there isn't too much justification for insisting that other kinds of legless lizards aren't snakes.
  #22  
Old 03-06-2017, 02:47 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
Colibri + Fotheringay-Phipps give the correct answer I believe. Rick Sanchez you can get a technical pass on the lizard/snake thing as Colibri noted ( depending on which systematist you query ), but google was lying to you. There probably has never been an anaconda that reached 550 lbs - that is just a fantasy estimate for a fantasy length that has never been verified and probably never will be.

The heaviest ever verified Komodo dragon weighed 366 lbs ( including a full stomach, which probably added a lot ), which beats the largest verified anaconda at 215 lbs.

http://www.extremescience.com/biggest-snake.htm


The dimensions that have earned the anaconda the title of king is its total body mass or its weight (the sheer physical bulk of it). The largest anaconda ever measured was almost 28 feet long with a girth of 44 inches. She wasn't weighed at the time she was caught, but scientists estimate that she must have weighed over 500 lbs.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ht-in-malaysia

“It is eight metres in length and weighs about 250kg,” he said by phone.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.e48e6b6e87eb

Not 100% verified, yes, but hardly tall tales. So a 500# anaconda is possible.
  #23  
Old 03-06-2017, 02:58 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
This is kind of like the monkeys and apes thing where pedants used to be able to "correct" people who referred to apes as monkeys. As it turns out, cladistically speaking apes are just one kind of monkey (being more closely related to Old World Monkey than the latter are to New World Monkeys). If snakes are just legless lizards, there isn't too much justification for insisting that other kinds of legless lizards aren't snakes.
But isn't it the case that classic snakes form a real clade (within "lizards"), but the various random legless lizards that aren't snakes are not members of that clade?

So snake doesn't just have to mean "a lizard without legs". Just like "ape" doesn't have to mean "a monkey with no tail".

Agreed that apes are a kind of monkey.

Also, it turns out that whales are artiodactyls! Birds are reptiles! Turkeys are from North America! Common names for animals were not assigned systematically! It's a disaster!
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:18 PM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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I remember a number of years back that actress Sharon Stone and her (then) husband were touring a zoo somewhere and he was attacked, somehow by a Komodo Dragon. I read about it in the paper and the headline was "Giant Lizard Attacks Husband of Sharon Stone". I'm ashamed to say I laughed , finding this one of the funniest headlines I'd seen in sometime.
  #25  
Old 03-06-2017, 03:34 PM
SantaMan SantaMan is offline
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Maybe the OP would post some pictures of his anaconda.
Are we the only ones who have heard of Bob and Ray? (along with EDUB)
  #26  
Old 03-06-2017, 03:49 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Maybe the OP would post some pictures of his anaconda.
I hear that anacondas can be poorly cooperative unless you offer them buns.
  #27  
Old 03-06-2017, 04:08 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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But isn't it the case that classic snakes form a real clade (within "lizards"), but the various random legless lizards that aren't snakes are not members of that clade?
True. But "lizards" don't form a clade, and the name does not have taxonomic significance.

Quote:
So snake doesn't just have to mean "a lizard without legs".
But it originally did. Glass snake is the traditional name for glass lizards. It was changed to reflect what was thought to be their taxonomy. But since "lizard" has no taxonomic meaning, the change was not justified on those grounds.

Quote:
Just like "ape" doesn't have to mean "a monkey with no tail".

....

Also, it turns out that whales are artiodactyls! Birds are reptiles! Turkeys are from North America! Common names for animals were not assigned systematically! It's a disaster!
That's my point. "Snake" and "lizard" and "reptile" and "ape" are common names with no taxonomic significance, so it's not necessary to change them to reflect taxonomy.

Last edited by Colibri; 03-06-2017 at 04:10 PM.
  #28  
Old 03-06-2017, 04:43 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
http://www.extremescience.com/biggest-snake.htm
Not 100% verified, yes, but hardly tall tales. So a 500# anaconda is possible.
Possible, yes. If you're comfortable with that, I think that's fine. But myself, I'll stick with what is reasonably verified. It's repeatedly been shown that people are tremendously inaccurate at measuring these critters ( which is actually harder to do than you might think - they don't stretch out nicely for folks while alive, are hard to weigh and skins of dead ones aren't very useful because they do stetch ). There are a lot of potential contenders circulating on the internet - so for example you can find plenty of recent stories about the 18' Burmese python named Delilah in Georgia that purportedly weighs 400 lbs. But I'm kinda dubious on the accuracy of that report given that a recent 17'7" Burmese python killed in Florida weighed all of 164.5 lbs.

I don't discount that some new heavyweight champion may be out there in the wild and I'd be thrilled to see one ( hopefully not eating Jon Voight ). But I'm waiting for real conclusive proof.
  #29  
Old 03-06-2017, 05:31 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
This is kind of like the monkeys and apes thing where pedants used to be able to "correct" people who referred to apes as monkeys. As it turns out, cladistically speaking apes are just one kind of monkey (being more closely related to Old World Monkey than the latter are to New World Monkeys).
This explains Curious George.
  #30  
Old 03-06-2017, 05:37 PM
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I am so glad I read this thread. It was all so confusing before.
  #31  
Old 03-06-2017, 06:25 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Their relatives were even bigger.
  #32  
Old 03-06-2017, 07:03 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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Komodo Dragon in close proximity to an adult human
There are some images on Google that make the dragon seem much larger but they are probably "forced perspective" photography.
  #33  
Old 03-06-2017, 07:23 PM
seal_cleaner seal_cleaner is offline
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Are we the only ones who have heard of Bob and Ray? (along with EDUB)
That's one of my favorite routines,
  #34  
Old 03-06-2017, 09:04 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
Komodo Dragon in close proximity to an adult human
There are some images on Google that make the dragon seem much larger but they are probably "forced perspective" photography.
There's "close proximity" and then there's "scratching under the chin, coochiecoooo!"

That guy got a death wish or something?
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:15 PM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is offline
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[Alan Davies] The Blue Whale! [/Alan Davies]
I'm sorry, that's negative 20 points.
  #36  
Old 03-07-2017, 05:19 AM
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I hear that anacondas can be poorly cooperative unless you offer them buns.
This made me laugh so hard that my wife woke up in a panic thinking someone was attacking us.
  #37  
Old 03-07-2017, 09:33 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Related question: why are large lizards so common in South and Southeast Asia and Australia? The largest lizards (Komodo dragon, water monitor, crocodile monitor and perentie) are all limited to those areas.
  #38  
Old 03-07-2017, 09:49 AM
Riemann Riemann is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Related question: why are large lizards so common in South and Southeast Asia and Australia? The largest lizards (Komodo dragon, water monitor, crocodile monitor and perentie) are all limited to those areas.
There are large iguanas in the Americas.

In Africa, I don't know. Perhaps large land-based reptiles would be too easy a target for the many large predators?
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:39 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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There's "close proximity" and then there's "scratching under the chin, coochiecoooo!"

That guy got a death wish or something?
He might get a painful bite, but someone's taking the picture, so he's clearly not alone and would have immediate assistance if the dragon attacked.

It's more fun if you appeal to their sense of hunger by dragging meat behind you.
  #40  
Old 03-07-2017, 11:40 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Related question: why are large lizards so common in South and Southeast Asia and Australia? The largest lizards (Komodo dragon, water monitor, crocodile monitor and perentie) are all limited to those areas.
Most of those are limited to islands or to Australia, where they have limited competition with carnivorous mammals. Also, monitors have a specialized anatomy including an effectively four-chambered heart that gives them greater aerobic capacity and allows them to be more active than other lizards. Monitors are more "mammalian" than other reptiles.

Last edited by Colibri; 03-07-2017 at 11:40 AM.
  #41  
Old 03-07-2017, 01:35 PM
Pleonast Pleonast is offline
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Also, monitors have a specialized anatomy including an effectively four-chambered heart that gives them greater aerobic capacity and allows them to be more active than other lizards. Monitors are more "mammalian" than other reptiles.
Interesting! That makes mosasaurs (basically monitor lizards adapted to live exclusively in the ocean) make more sense.
  #42  
Old 03-07-2017, 01:57 PM
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Maybe the OP would post some pictures of his anaconda.
Careful! This isn't that kind of forum.
  #43  
Old 03-07-2017, 04:22 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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He might get a painful bite, but someone's taking the picture, so he's clearly not alone and would have immediate assistance if the dragon attacked.
What if it used its fire breath?
  #44  
Old 03-07-2017, 04:36 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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Komodo Dragon in close proximity to an adult human
There are some images on Google that make the dragon seem much larger but they are probably "forced perspective" photography.
I dunno, it looks like a particularly large dragon, but not unrealistically so. I've seen lots of monitor lizards on Java, and Komodo dragons on Rinci. To me, the photo looks reasonable.

As to the behavior of the guy, what he's doing is probably unwise, but if the dragon is sated after a big meal, it is probably pretty logy. And if this guy is one of the handlers/tour guides who work on Rinci and Komodo, he's probably very familiar with their behavior.

On Rinci (and probably Komodo too, but I don't know because we didn't go there), you can hike all around the island with a guide, and see lots of dragons pretty close up along the way. The guides carry big forked sticks just in case, but nothing untoward happened while we were there and I suspect that's the norm.
  #45  
Old 03-07-2017, 04:58 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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Yeah, but there're other differences between glass lizards and true snake, like the latter having a longer body and shorter tail in comparison to the former (the cloaca in GL is found nearer to the center; in snakes, it's nearer to the "end"). And, y'know, the having eyelids thing.

Last edited by Trancephalic; 03-07-2017 at 05:00 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-07-2017, 05:05 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Giant monitors might have coexisted on Flores Island with miniature humans, although I guess the whole Homo floresiensis hypothesis is still controversial.
  #47  
Old 03-07-2017, 05:33 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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They're about yea big, but only this tall.
  #48  
Old 03-07-2017, 05:51 PM
DtypeJag DtypeJag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
Colibri + Fotheringay-Phipps give the correct answer I believe. Rick Sanchez you can get a technical pass on the lizard/snake thing as Colibri noted ( depending on which systematist you query ), but google was lying to you. There probably has never been an anaconda that reached 550 lbs - that is just a fantasy estimate for a fantasy length that has never been verified and probably never will be.

The heaviest ever verified Komodo dragon weighed 366 lbs ( including a full stomach, which probably added a lot ), which beats the largest verified anaconda at 215 lbs.
If we are talking about the world's largest living reptile I've heard that Leatherback sea turtles can be up to 1000lbs? But probably one of the Crockagators would be larger.

Last edited by DtypeJag; 03-07-2017 at 05:52 PM.
  #49  
Old 03-07-2017, 06:10 PM
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I was on Komodo last year and saw a number of the dragons. They were mostly sheltering from the sun. Their colouring works surprisingly well as camouflage.
  #50  
Old 03-07-2017, 06:26 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
This is kind of like the monkeys and apes thing where pedants used to be able to "correct" people who referred to apes as monkeys. As it turns out, cladistically speaking apes are just one kind of monkey (being more closely related to Old World Monkey than the latter are to New World Monkeys). If snakes are just legless lizards, there isn't too much justification for insisting that other kinds of legless lizards aren't snakes.
All Champagnes are sparkling wines, not all sparkling wines are Champagne.
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