The Tentacled Snake Pretends to Be a Dead Tree Branch to Catch Fish

Posted on May 30, 2011

The tentacled snake, Erpeton tentaculatus, is an aquatic snake that lives in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The snake has two appendages on the top sides of its snout. The snake also has a very clever strategy for capturing prey. It pretends to be a dead tree branch sitting in the water. The snake strikes so quickly it cannot be captured on regular film. The tentacled snake also creates a false wave that causes fish to move in the wrong direction, making it easier for the snake to snatch food. Take a look:

The clip below shows high-speed video taken by biologist Kenneth Catani at Vanderbilt University. The snake uses its body to trick fish into fleeing toward its head. The snake also aims its strike at the location it anticipates the fish's head will be.

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