Water Snake ‘Startles’ It Prey…Right Into It’s Jaws

June 19, 2009

Asia (ChattahBox) – An unusual water snake that predicts it’s prey’s movements before startling the smaller fish into swimming into it’s mouth has been discovered in South East Asia.

According to a study done by Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University, the snake forms a “J” pattern, with it’s head at the end, and waits. When a small fish enters the general area, the snake lashes out faster than can be tracked by the human eye. The fish react instinctively, and shoots itself into the direction of the mouth, where the snake waits for it to enter it’s jaws before trapping and devouring it.

What makes this snake so interesting isn’t it’s speed, but the way it relies on the movement of the fish for it’s food source.

“The best evidence for this is the cases when the snake misses. Not all the targeted fish react with a C-start and the snake almost always misses those that don’t react reflexively,” Catania was quoted on Eureka Alert.

The study has been published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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