This looks like an impossible challenge for this snake but somehow it manages to overpower the toad. The clip ends before the snake actually devours the toad but we know that snakes are perfectly capable of eating and digesting animals that are much bigger than they are!
Toads and Frogs
We know that the animal in this clip is probably a toad from its appearance. There are some key differences between toads and frogs. If you look closely, you can see the dry, rough skin and the ‘warts’ on the surface. They are lumps that cover the parotid glands which secrete bufotoxins. These are chemicals that are supposed to deter predators but did not work that well for this toad! Frogs have a smoother and slimier skin that often looks wet even when they are out of water.
These two species also move around in different ways. You can see that the toad’s legs are not that long – a frog has very long legs that help to jump long distances. Toads tend to look squat and round, as this one does, and they walk rather than leap. This particular toad seems to be making very little effort to move away from the snake so it may be weak, injured or ill. It does make an attempt to intimidate the snake by making itself look big but sadly that is not successful!
Snakes as hunters
This snake appears to put very little effort into securing the toad as a meal. It just coils around the toad and opens its mouth. Snakes are carnivorous reptiles and there are currently more than 4,000 species recognized in the world. They live a solitary life and are found on every continent except Antarctica.
It is usually easy to identify a snake from its elongated body that looks like a head with a long tail. Some are only inches long whilst others are many feet in length.
They have skin but it is covered in scales and their markings help you to identify the species. They consume their prey whole! This is because they are able to expand their jaws both at the tip and at the articulation with the skull. As you see at the end of this clip, they then move the jaws very gradually around the animal. Once the food is in the throat, it is pushed down by a combination of muscles in the esophagus (food pipe) and undulations of the backbone and body. It’s both amazing and horrifying to watch!
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