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:
TAG: Just one bite time Researchers find snake with unusual feeding habit

(Date:11/5/2014)... diversity in their ability to identify scents and odors. ... their perceptual evaluation of odors, with women outperforming men ... Sex differences in olfactory detection may play a role ... one,s perception of smell, which is naturally linked to ... been suggested to be cognitive or emotional, rather than ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... the right amount of death at the right time ... to new research that could help in understanding animal ... , In a paper in the journal Trends ... and European colleagues conclude that the kind of positive ... of individuals, or mortality, depends on the size and ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... GABLES, Fla. (November 4, 2014) — Think about the ... ask: How do neighboring cells know that they are ... and how do these tissues find the correct place ... are answering these crucial questions. , In a new ... use to communicate with their surrounding neighbors, at the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The female nose always knows: Do women have more olfactory neurons? 2When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature 2The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together 2
(Date:11/22/2014)... CannLabs, Inc. (OTCQB: CANL), the ... testing methodologies relating to cannabis, today announced that it ... credit from an existing stockholder of the Company. ... commitment from one of our existing stockholders,” stated ... will help accelerate our planned expansions into the Connecticut ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... element of surprise has been a major advantage of ... Until now, epidemiologists had nothing to measure that might ... suboptimal responses to both the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141121/160242 That virus advantage ... structural changes have been found that invariably to date ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... CA (PRWEB) November 20, 2014 Offering ... their Sartorius Entris Balance promotion . The Sartorius ... seeking a durable, high accuracy, and easy-to-maintain balance entry ... in Germany. It was designed to help customer’s bridge ... and a balance that is very durable. Sartorius is ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... BlueInGreen, LLC ( BlueInGreen® ) and ... PCI, Inc., leading suppliers of ozone process technology ... to provide a new state-of-the-art ozone system for ... Wastewater Treatment. The new ozone disinfection system ... dissolution technology, Pinnacle Ozone’s industry leading Zenith™ ozone ...
Breaking Biology Technology:CannLabs Secures $750,000 Line Of Credit 2Viruses' Advantage of Surprise is Lost 2Pipette.com Announces an Extension on the Sartorius Entris Balance Promotion to the End of 2014 2City of Fayetteville Leads Nation with Innovative Ozone Technology 2City of Fayetteville Leads Nation with Innovative Ozone Technology 3City of Fayetteville Leads Nation with Innovative Ozone Technology 4
Cached News: