Southern striped water snake slowly swallows American eel

Southern striped water snake slowly swallows American eel

A southern striped water snake slowly swallows a slippery American eel as its prey struggles to find a way to escape.

Rắn nước sọc nuốt dần cơ thể lươn.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Animal Resources recorded a fight between a black snake and an eel over its size and shared it on Facebook on Dec. 1. “Last week, one of our biologists caught a carnivorous snake in the swamp in Liberty County. The southern striped water snake wrestled with an American eel. Both animals struggled around the shallow lagoon,” ƊNR said.

The striped water snake gradually devours the eel’s body.
The striped water snake gradually devours the eel’s body.

The striped water snake gradually devours the eel’s body.
The southern striped water snake (Nerodia fasciata) lives in the southern and southeastern states of the United States and can be found in nearly every freshwater habitat, including ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and swamps. They can grow from 60-107 cm long, with the longest specimens being around 158 cm. They are named for the characteristic stripes on their backs, but if the snake is darker and darkens with age, the stripes may not be noticeable. Southern striped water snakes exclusively eat fish and frogs. They use an olfac tory organ called Jacobson to identify prey by detecting a specialized protein called arvalbumin present in the skin mucus of frogs and some fish.

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is one of the prey items of the southern striped water snake. The only freshwater eel species in North America, it has a complex life cycle and lives primarily in rivers and estuaries but migrates to spawn in the Sargasso Sea off the east coast of the United States. Young eels hatch in the Sargasso Sea and float with the current for a year. They come ashore along the eastern United States and swim to maturity in rivers and estuaries. When they reach spawning age, they migrate again and die in the Sargasso Sea.

American eels are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of endangered species. They can reach a length of more than 1.2 meters, and their bodies are covered with thick mucus. Adult eels are often eaten by birds, fish, or larger eels.

Researchers don’t know if southern striped water snakes regularly eat American eels. Despite the heavy meal, the snake in the video swallowed the eel’s entire body, according to NR.


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