How Do Snakes Kill Their Prey?

Ocala snake

Just thinking about the snake will be enough to make some people shiver. Perhaps they thought that they have a slimy body, others are scared of how they look. Still, most of us are afraid of the way they kill their prey. Nonetheless, humans are not the likely prey of snakes. They will look at us as a large predator, and they will choose to flee rather than confront us.

How Do Constrictors Kill Their Prey?
Many snake experts will probably tell you that constrictors will kill their prey by squeezing them too hard and suffocating them in the process. There may also be others that will suggest that they can shatter their victims' bones with their powerful muscles. Apparently, new studies suggest that our understanding of the killing behavior of the constrictor could be wrong. According to the researchers of Dickinson College, the constrictors are capable of killing their prey with extreme efficiency. The boa constrictors and python will start by striking and grabbing their meal. While their teeth are anchored on their prey's body, their body will coil around the animal like a straitjacket. It will then tighten, which will kill the animal in the process.

However, they will not be killed through suffocation since it will require a long time. Researchers suggest that the death is the result of cardiac arrest or rapid circulatory. The experts observed that upon coiling their body, the blood circulation of the animal would stop causing the vital organs to be deprived of vital oxygen. The heart will then show an erratic response. It only takes about 8 minutes to kill their prey.

How Do Venomous Snakes Kill Their Prey?
Just like the constrictors, the venomous snakes will first bite their prey. However, unlike the constrictors, they will do this not to suppress the animal with their body but to inject their deadly venom. Venoms are a modified form of saliva that consists of toxic substances. After being injected with venom, the animal can be paralyzed immediately or gradually die due to the venom's effect. The effect will depend upon the type of venom. If the snake has neurotoxic venom, the victim's body will be paralyzed. It may include the paralysis of the respiratory system that will result in immediate death. There is also the hemotoxic venom; it causes internal bleeding. The victim may be incapacitated, but they will not die immediately. Cytotoxic venoms will destroy cells and tissues. The venom can quickly spread all over the victim's body and will affect the vital organs of the prey.

Finally, there are also snakes (like the smaller ones) that will devour their prey alive. These animals will not have a special technique; they are simply fast and smart. They will slowly approach their meal and grab them with lightning reflexes. This method will usually be seen on snakes that will eat frogs, eggs, birds, smaller mammals, and snakes. Even small snakes will devour their creature since their teeth are not designed for chewing their victim. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Ocala