Below are images of the twin-barred tree snake (Chrysopelea pelias) taking to the air. This species does not glide as well as C. paradisi, but it is able to move horizontally. (In other words, it doesn't just fall straight downward.) Most of the photos on this page were taken by Dr. Chris Sidor.
J-loop posture, during takeoff. Note that, in the curve, the ventral surface faces to the side, not downward, indicating that this is a lateral (side) bend.
Accelerating upward during takeoff.
At the peak of takeoff.
Posture during the ballistic dive phase; the tail and back end are in the process of swinging downward.
About to land on the ground. Notice that in this posture, the tail will make contact first, which will reduce the impact force on the head.
©19992005 Jake Socha