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Defensive Display of a Rhombic Egg Eater

Occurred on January 9, 2019 / Vaalwater, South Africa

Info from Licensor: "A co-worker and I work at Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa. We went looking for snakes near the reserve. In the headlights, we saw a snake crossing the road so we got out and identified it as a Rhombic Egg-eating Snake, also known as a Dasypeltis Scabra. Their diet consists completely of undeveloped bird eggs. They are almost completely devoid of teeth and are unable to break human skin, rendering them completely harmless (and defenseless) to us and other animals. To make up for this, they have developed an impressive defensive behavior where they form a coil and rub their rough scales together to make a rasping noise. While doing this, the snake will gape and mock strike at the “attacker”, missing intentionally, as a real strike will show the attacker precisely how harmless this snake actually is. This defensive behavior is all a big act and is assumed to mimic the superficially similar, but highly venomous, Saw-Scales Viper found further north in Africa and Asia. Once we had taken the video of the snake, it was moved off the road and left to disappear into the night."

Location Vaalwater, South Africa
Occurred Jan-9-2019
Posted By Wade Kilian
Posted On Jan-18-2019