HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Just one bite at a time: Researchers find snake with unusual feeding habit

Everyone knows that snakes swallow their meals in one giant gulp, so University of Cincinnati biologist Bruce Jayne and his colleagues were astonished to discover a tropical snake that eats at a much different pace. The snake, found in Singapore, feasts on soft-shelled crabs which it tears apart and swallows one bite at a time.

The discovery by Jayne, Harold Voris of the Field Museum of Natural History, and Peter Ng of the National University of Singapore, is reported in the July 11 issue of Nature.

"The snake literally rips the crab's body apart," said Jayne. "They'll tug and pull on it to tear it apart."

The researchers were trying to understand the diets of two snakes found in Singapore Fordonia leucobalia and Gerarda prevostiana. Both eat crabs, which is fairly unusual right from the start. However, while examining the stomach contents, it was obvious that crabs eaten by Gerarda were in pieces. Since crabs can drop (autotomize) their limbs and joints can break as a crab is captured and eaten, it was important to verify how the crab is actually pulled apart.

So, Jayne brought the snake into his laboratory and recorded Gerarda's feeding behavior using an infrared IR) camera. "They're kind of a bashful species," said Jayne. They wouldn't eat when I watched them, but when I used the IR camera I found out there was this stereotypical behavior."

The snake forms itself into a loop and uses the loop to hold and tear apart its prey. The ability to rip the crabs apart was a surprise, because snake teeth are not adapted for slicing and cutting. Instead, they curve back into the mouth which is an adaptation for holding the prey inside the mouth.

Fordonia, on the other hand, has no stereotypical behavior for pulling its crab prey apart, although they do occasionally break the legs off hard-shelled crabs. "When fed soft-shell crabs, they make a mess of it," said Jayne. That limits the size of prey Fordonia can eat while Gerarda
'"/>

Contact: Chris Curran
chris.curran@uc.edu
513-556-1806
University of Cincinnati
10-Jul-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fruit flys genome sequence finished in record time: Physical maps are the key to accuracy
2. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
3. Researchers find color sensitive atomic switch in bacteria
4. Researchers identify protein promoting vascular tumor growth
5. Researchers devise potent new tools to curb ivory poaching
6. Researchers create nanotubes that change colors, form nanocarpet and kill bacteria
7. Researchers ID chlorophyll-regulating gene
8. Researchers develop fast track way to discover how cells are regulated
9. Researchers identify distinctive signature for metastatic prostate cancer
10. Researchers report new gene test for isolated cleft lip and palate
11. Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... WASHINGTON , April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... single-cell precision engineering platform, detected a statistically ... cell product prior to treatment and objective ... highlight the potential to predict whether cancer ... prior to treatment, as well as to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 25, 2017 , ... Throughout ... case studies, describing how process development and economic goals were achieved in both ... using a hollow-fiber bioreactor system, along with techniques for scaling production of mesenchymal ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 25, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of scientific ... the world, is announcing a new textbook scholarship, the second scholarship in the LabRoots ... 17 years or older, pursuing a degree in one of the life sciences. The ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Today, the ... Water Recovery’s Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR™) technology at its 4,000,000 gallon per ... plant upgrade to sustainably meet current and future nutrient discharge regulations. The ABNR ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Federal ... as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other vital technologies — deserves ... . They joined others in the scientific community today in responding to the President’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: