berus feigning death

France, British isles

berus feigning death

Postby Paul Lambourne » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Further to my previous post viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1623#p15581 my friend did indeed take a photo of the berus playing dead.. sorry for poor quality, taken on a phone..

Adder feigning death 1.jpg
Adder feigning death 1.jpg (49.73 KiB) Viewed 3838 times


Adder feigning death 2.jpg
Adder feigning death 2.jpg (27.65 KiB) Viewed 3837 times


Anybody else seen this?

Kind regards

Paul
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Re: berus feigning death

Postby Paul Lambourne » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:22 pm

Michael,

My friend came across a fox worrying the berus out in the open, not under cover. He observed the fox for a while, but when he approached the fox ran off. The berus remained in the state you see it for a few minutes, then righted itself and moved off into the adjacent bushes.

Cheers Paul
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Re: berus feigning death

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:09 pm

Michael Glass wrote:Could the fox have flipped the animal?

Indeed...
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Re: berus feigning death

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:45 pm

Michael Glass wrote:
Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Indeed...

Given the ambivalent meaning of indeed and no smiley, would you like to elaborate?


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/indeed
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Re: berus feigning death

Postby Daniel Kane » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:58 pm

That is interesting Paul. I have not heard of berus feigning death before you mentioned it, but maybe many snakes traditionally thought of as having a limited set of defences (hiss (eg. Bitis) OR feign death (Natrix) OR make a popping sound (Micrurus) OR hide head within coils (Python reguis) etc....) might do more to avoid being eaten if they feel the situation needs it.

April 2012 I caught a large male berus which had eluded having decent head photos taken for 2 years, and at the time I was looking at ventral/sub-caudal scales of this population to get an idea of possible effects of inbreeding so justified the 'need' to capture this one. Once in the hand, this snake decided it would be a good idea to musk, presumably because the head (fangs) were at this point secure and therefore useless for defence. So what else could it do to defend itself in this situation??
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