Squirrels are known to snack on nuts, fruits, and veggies. But have you ever come across a squirrel eating a snake? Well, that’s true. This might sound unbelievable, but it has been a real thing.
Squirrels are Omnivores belonging to the Sciuridae family. Multiple squirrel species are found worldwide, including Red squirrel, Fox squirrel, tree squirrel, and many more. They are known to survive with plant-based food. Their diet usually consists of seeds, nuts, pulses, berries, and fruits as they require proteins, carbs, and fats to maintain their health and body weight.
Squirrel cracking a nut sounds usual though eating a snake doesn’t. Surprisingly, they prefer snacking upon bird’s eggs, lizards, insects, and rattlesnakes. Snakes prefer to prey upon immature ground squirrels rather than adult ones. So it is obvious that adults will attack their predators to defend their young ones. To save the ground squirrels from snakes, adult squirrels threaten, attack, and even bite them in aggression. This seems usual as any animal will certainly try to protect itself by attacking its enemy.
For Extra Reading: Do They Drink Water
Unique Mechanisms Used By Squirrels To Win The Battle:
No need to say, squirrels too use certain defense mechanisms to keep their enemy away. This sounds ordinary as the snake uses his venom to defend himself from enemies.
1.Waving the tail as sward:
When squirrels directly confront the snake in the initial stage of the fight, their tail seems to wave high in the air as their main weapon. They indicate that they’ve sensed the presence of the snake and are ready to fight. Their hairs puff out that makes them look bigger against their enemy.
2.Masking their natural scent:
Another oddly unique way that has been identified is that squirrels rub or eat the shed skin of snakes. They rub the discarded skin to their fur or eat it to mask their natural scent. Furthermore, they lick their young ones to keep them protected. This is smartly done to avoid their detection by the snakes. Though snakes have poor vision, they have a strong sense of smell to detect their prays around. This activity helps squirrels to defend themselves by not being detected.
3.Kill the snake:
If they fail to defend themselves with such attempts, the last way to succeed in the battle against snakes is to kill them and eat. This sounds weird for a cute furry critter, but they eat up their enemy to save their lives. Moreover, since they are omnivores, they too eat meat but occasionally.
A fight that amused all!
In 2009, an astonishing incident occurred that left everyone startled. In the Guadalupe Mountains National park of west Texas, a squirrel was caught fighting with a snake in the cage. This unbelievable scene was captured on camera by a park ranger. The squirrel didn’t only fight against the snake but entirely ate it, leaving behind some 2 inches of tail. The event went viral through social media and made people believe what was earlier perceived to be unreal.
What makes these critters fight fearlessly?
We’ve been familiar with mongoose fighting against snakes for years, and it doesn’t surprise us anymore. But have you ever thought of what causes these animals to fight bravely and resist the venom?
It’s quite surprising that their bodies possess certain proteins that are resistant to snake venom. Mongoose’s mutated cells restrict the neurotoxic from entering the bloodstream, thus protecting against any venom.
Q1: Are Squirrels Immune To Snake Venom?
It’s interesting that squirrels tend to survive the snake venom. They have proteins in their blood that enable them to confront snakes fearlessly.
Q2:Which squirrels can kill snakes?
Rock squirrel is a species of squirrel that is considered dangerous as compared to others. They’ve been noticed to bite people and also snakes. These species are natives to Mexico to Southwest USA. They seem brave in a sense; they fight and kill snakes when it comes to their safety.
Q3. What does the snake venom consist of?
Snake venom is comprised of harmful proteins and enzymes. Additionally, there are lipids, carbohydrates, and amines. They are extremely dangerous to humans as well as other animals as they can lead to death.
Q4. Which organisms are immune to snake venom?
It’s not surprising to know that mongoose tends to survive deadly cobra venom. They are well known for their capability to kill dangerous snakes over the years. Several others can survive venom, including Opossum, Honey badge, Hedgehog, Rock squirrel, and few birds that prey upon snakes.
Now you know that cute furry squirrels can be such brave as to fight against the deadliest snakes. Naturally, all creatures possess varied techniques and have evolved to protect themselves against their predators. So the next time you try to be friends with a squirrel at a park or maybe in your backyard, be more careful as you know how brave as well as dangerous they are.