How are reptiles related to alligators?
Observed for the first time: snakes band together to hunt
Many of us know the classic animal documentaries in which wolves or lions hunt in packs to hunt their prey.
A new study has revealed that Cuban slender boas coordinate their bat hunts in the caves of Cuba's Desembarco del Granma National Park.
It was already known that the reptiles were hanging from the ceiling by the cave entrance. From there they catch Jamaican fruit bats that roost in the cave.
Vladimir Dinets, a zoologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, discovered that the snakes are positioned close together. In this way they block the flight path of bats and are more successful in hunting.
"They just block the entire opening, so [the bats] have nowhere else to go," says Dinets. His paper was recently published in Animal Behavior and Cognition and is the first scientifically documented observation of snakes hunting together.
According to Dinet's observations, snakes that hunted alone caught fewer bats than the group hunters.
The idea of the solitary reptile is “a big mistake. They're pretty social, ”he says - and that pays off for dinner.
But snakes aren't the only hunters who can be surprisingly cooperative.
ALIGATORS AND CROCODILES
These reptiles also use "some crazy tactics" to prey together, says Dinets.
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