Can snakes hunt in a pack?

Snakes do not belong to the category of social animals. Unlike wolves or, say, lions, snakes prefer to stay alone. At least that was the case before the study in the cave of the national Cuban park Deselbarka del Granma.

Zoologists watched as a group of boas were hunting for cave-dwelling bats. Several reptiles crawled to the exit from the cave and began to guard the bats, settling in such a way that they did not interfere with each other in the hunt, blocking all possible ways out of the cave. The outgoing mice had little chance of avoiding the mortal embrace of reptiles.

Scientists are sure that they witnessed collective hunting among snakes. Continued observations of boas showed that depending on the time of day snakes use different hunting tactics. For example, in the morning hours, predators preferred to watch their victims closer to the exit from the cave, and in the evening they crawled slightly deeper inside. Positions boas occupied in advance – 30-60 minutes before the departure of the bats from the shelter.

Comparing the effectiveness of collective hunting of boas with their rare single attempts to catch a bat (apparently, the boas do not always get to agree on joint actions), zoologists found that in the first case each boa constrictor received 3 times more prey.

All this speaks not only of the fact that snakes can hunt together, but also about the high mental abilities of Cuban boas. In the meantime, scientists are trying to understand whether all kinds of snakes are capable of such actions or only their Cuban relatives so advanced on the evolutionary branch.

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