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A Stressed Out Snake Eats Itself


Image credit: Robert Mott/YouTube.

When you look at this picture, you will surprisingly exclaim “Oh, no, Silly snake, you are not your food!”

Sometimes snakes will go crazy like Ouroborus to eat their own tails, making kind of a circle. Although we are quite familiar with snakes, we know little about the self-renewal of the animals.

As cold blooded species, snakes can not regulate their body temperatures. Instead, they should resort external heat sources such as the sun or a lamp so as to keep themselves warm. If it is too warm, they are unable to cool themselves down by the means of sweating, so they have to find a cool and shady spot to regulate their body temperature.

When snakes become too hot, they will get confused and disoriented. Their ramped-up metabolism will also lead to a false sense of hunger, thus desiring to eat the thing at their first glance. Generally speaking, captive snakes live alone and there is no enough food offered to them in such situation. As a result, they have to attack themselves by eating their tail.

In addition, it will happen when they are shedding and have diminished eyesight, because they mistake their tail for prey.

In the case of their self-cannibalizing, if you can reduce the temperature by turning off heat lamps and spritzing the snake with cool water, it can be much helpful in cutting down the stress of the snake that might let go; sometimes the veterinarian’s intervention is necessary in this respect.

These fatal episodes can take place constantly, because snakes have evolved to trap food and guide it in. When they begin with eating something, it will be very hard for them to let it go.

So next time when you see such scene, you will be fully aware of what is happening. If you want to keep your pet snake in a good condition, feed them with enough food and maintain the proper room temperature for them so as to avoid the fatal episode.

Source: IFLScience