An incredible finding about snakes could totally upend our thinking about this sneaky and solitary creature.
A remarkable discovery by scientists at the University of Tennessee could greatly change our thinking on snakes as a species, and how they lives. Scientists have published a paper claiming they’ve found evidence that snakes actually hunt in packs much like wolves do, calling it “coordinated hunting.”
Researchers studied the Cuban boa and found that their hunting tactics were similar to wolf packs, but not quite the same. Coordinated hunting is when animals communicate time and space to each other as they try to chase down prey, according to the paper, which was published in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition.
Fascinatingly, the Cuban boas would position themselves in caves as they hunted bats so that other snakes could see them. They would then coordinate to fence the bats in and prevent them from escaping, ensuring an easy meal.
“Many Cuban caves shelter large bat colonies, and in some of them small populations of boas regularly hunt the bats as they fly out at dusk and return at dawn,” the statement reads. “Dinets noticed that the boas hung down from the ceiling of the cave entrance and grabbed passing bats in midair. He found that if more than one boa was present, the snakes coordinated their positions in such a way that they formed a wall across the entrance. This made it difficult or impossible for the bats to pass without getting within striking distance of at least one boa.”