Snakes can move like a wheel: unique eerie footage published

Alina MilsentLife
Dwarf reed snake

Recently, researchers have discovered that snakes can do more than just crawl on the ground. They have an unusual ability to move in a wheel, which allows them to increase their speed many times over.

This is a truly unique discovery, as for a long time it was believed that snakes were not capable of wheel-like movements. Science Alert has published unique eerie footage showing an unusual way and trajectory of movement.

The photo shows a dwarf reed snake (Pseudorabdion longiceps). This is a small South Asian snake that can roll in bizarre contortions when danger approaches. This behaviour is not typical for snakes in general. The wheel-like rotation speeds up the snake's movement, so it can react faster to predators


The researchers, led by biologist Evan Seng Huat Kua from the University of Malaysia Sabah, described the observations in detail. The scientists note that locals have reported similar snake behaviour before, but this is the first time it has been documented and photographed.

Snakes, although capable of venomous bites, are actually very vulnerable in the wild, especially to predators. They have a number of "strategies": the ability to play dead, camouflage and disguise, defensive posture and aggression. Many predators are faster than snakes, so wheeling in critical situations can help a snake escape.

The dwarf snake is nocturnal, and during the day it hides in the litter of leaves or under logs. Once, on a mountain road in Malaysia, researchers suddenly saw such a snake. Running away, it made a series of turns to move faster.

"Frightened, the snake instantly curled into a loop and began to roll like a wheel. In less than 5 seconds, it managed to "roll" for a distance of about 1.5 m," the researchers said.

They caught the snake and put it on a flat area. The snake continued to make circular movements several times, trying to hide. The researchers managed to take unique photos.

The snake bends its body into an S-shape, and then lifts the front part of its body into the air, while pushing its tail against the ground. This is followed by a circular movement: the head touches the ground, the tail turns forward, the head curls up, and then rises sharply again. These manoeuvres are constantly repeated.

According to the researchers, the strange behaviour may have a number of advantages, as such sudden movements not only increase speed but can also confuse predators.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL reported that scientists discovered a new species of cat with a mysterious feature.

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