Nature & Environment
Bizarre footage shows snake escaping by doing cartwheels
By T.K. Randall
April 6, 2023 · 7 comments
The snake has a unique trick up its sleeve. Image Credit: Evan S.H. Quah
For the first time, scientists have captured footage of a type of snake that can do cartwheels as an escape mechanism.
Over the years we've seen snakes that can do everything from swimming in the sea to unhinging their jaw to swallow large animals, but this latest discovery is nothing if not unique - a snake that can curl up and do actual cartwheels whenever it feels threatened by something.
Found in parts of Southeast Asia, the nocturnal dwarf reed snake ( or Pseudorabdion longiceps
) is seldom seen owing to its nighttime activities and is so small that it is also easy to miss in the dark.
For a while there had been anecdotal accounts of people seeing dwarf snakes cartwheeling away, but it wasn't confirmed until researchers conducting herpetological surveys in the area came across one of them and actually captured footage of this unique defense mechanism in action.
This intriguing feat is not only unique but also quick - with the snake covering 1.5 meters in 5 seconds.
"By cartwheeling down an incline, the snake was able to gain speed and rapidly cover more ground," the researchers wrote.
"The snake was captured and placed on a flat area along the side of the road where it repeated the cartwheeling behavior several times."
You can see the snake in action at 1:50 in the video below.
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