On the side of a road in Texas, an American couple had a surprising encounter with a snake that clearly had its mouth full. When they started to film it, the reptile started to regurgitate its prey which turned out to be another snake.
Fearful and feared predators, snakes have a huge variety of prey, including some animals from their own family as was recently discovered by a couple in Texas. Christopher Reynolds and his wife just got into their car when they spotted a snake on the side of the road.
The snake, which was looking quite impressive, was half hidden under the shrubbery and seemed to have something coming out of its mouth. Intrigued, the man stopped, got out of the car and started to take photos of the animal before starting to film it. And then, the encounter took an unexpected turn.
Just after Christopher started filming, the black snake started to regurgitate its prey which turned out to be a lot bigger than the couple had thought. The prey turned out to be another snake that was almost the same size. Even more surprising, the animal seemed to come out of its predator’s mouth alive.
A defence mechanism
The couple then watched as the prey raised his head up and stuck out its tongue, which led to the predator giving up on its meal and taking off. The two species haven’t clearly been identified but the predator’s behaviour can easily be explained. Snakes don’t chew their foods but swallow them whole and let their bodies digest them.
However, this process can take a while depending on the size of the prey and its extra weight which can be a problem for the snake if it needs to flee from a threat. As herpetologist from the University of Florida Kenney Krysko from National Geographic explains, this is a defence mechanism.
‘Anyone who keeps snakes knows you should leave them alone after they eat, because you can make them regurgitate,’ says the specialist. But this isn’t the first time that something like this has been filmed. In August 2016, a python was filmed in a surprising video that showed it regurgitating an antelope in India.