Constrictor Feeding Behavour of Snakes

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Aberdeen Behaviour Challenge Constrictor Feeding Behaviour of Snakes:

Aberdeen Behaviour Challenge Constrictor Feeding Behaviour of Snakes By Laura Skinner

Tinbergen’s Four Questions:

Tinbergen’s Four Questions Causation Development Function Evolution Python molurus bivittatus

Slide 3:

In search of prey These pictures were taken during feeding time (in my flat)on 24 th Febuary 2011. From the moment this albino Burmese python engages with the rat until completely swallows. Pythons are known to use constricting and coiling behaviour when feeding and that is what shall be observed and discussed

1. Causation:

1. Causation Daniel Willard (1977) mentions that the constricting behaviour usually begins by the prey moving within the snakes coils in order to free itself. This then begins the snake’s behaviour of tightening its coils and begin constricting around the prey

2. Development:

2. Development

Slide 6:

This behaviour may have developed as a way to reduce jaw use energy for the snake. Therefore constrictors have developed a way to reduce strike attacks, capturing and restraining prey. Enabling this animal to use less energy

3. Function:

3. Function Constriction is used as a way to overcome struggling prey. Prey use all their energy within the struggle and eventually die from exhaustion and/or suffocation. The snake will coil itself tighter around the prey every time it breathes.

Slide 8:

Allowing easy consumption, as the snake begins to position its mouth for swallowing the prey.

Slide 9:

Snake is adjusting its mouth in order to consume the prey. With constriction and coil becoming much tighter

4. Evolution:

4. Evolution The evolution of constricting behaviour within pythons is said to have arisen from early snake defence. Kenneth Kardong (1980) suggests a theory that it may be to reduce chance of injury – as constrictor snakes lack venom.

Slide 11:

Snake successfully consuming prey

Slide 13:

This snake has nearly finished its meal.

Slide 14:

Beginning the process of readjusting its jaw back into its original position.

Slide 15:

Snake – belongs to flatmates Behavioural complexity and prey-handling ability in snakes: gauging the benefits of constriction – by Matthew T. Bealor & Anthony J. Saviola (2007) Evolutionary Patterns in Advanced Snakes – by Kenneth K. Kardong (1980) Constricting Method of Snakes – by Daniel E. Willard (1977)

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