This paper deals with the controllability of biologically inspired snake-like mechanisms. Motion equations of the generic snake-like mechanism and investigations on its controllability lead to extremely complicated mathematical representations. The authors establish a physical analogy between the undulatory snake locomotion and object grasping. Based on this analogy, they propose a controllability criterion concerning the motion of the mobile mechanism. Results of dynamic simulations of the controlled system systematically point to the validity of the analogy-based controllability criterion. The purpose of this work is to achieve an understanding of the undulatory motion which constitutes the basis of a biologically motivated experimental setup.