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Amazon River  🇵🇪   Perú

Iquitos Office


How to fool a predator.

20 Dec
The snail eating snake (Dipsas catesbyi) is a small reptile native to South America. They are very common and found right around our gardens in Oran. Although I have observed this snake dozens of times before, this is the first time I realized just exactly what it is doing.

The snake when threatened, lines its head up to match the black spots on its body. If you notice, the spots on the body are outlined by white, just as the chin and neck are outlined in white.

This confusing act of camouflage may be just enough o throw off a prospective predator. Nothing like a bit of auto-mimicry to save your own tail….or head.

It is quite a feat to survive just by hiding your head in plain sight. How many thousands if not millions of years it took to reach this perfect trick. Snakes will generally posture, flatten out and show their triangular head, insisting they are dangerous. That proactive defense may land them in more trouble than needed. I do believe this is one of the best defenses for a nonvenomous snake as such. Like a trickster hiding in plain sight, not moving a muscle. Repeating to itself in its head” I am not here, you cannot see me”.

If anyone else sees something I do not, please leave a comment, I am racking my brain to figure out, what else this snake looks like.

All images property of Anthony Giardenelli, taken at the Amazon River Lodge-Oran Creek, Peru 

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