A recent study published in Biotropica reveals that the Dwarf Reed Snake (Pseudorabdion longiceps) has been found to perform cartwheels when threatened, making it the first time such an active rolling motion has been documented in snakes.
The Dwarf Reed Snake is a small, nocturnal snake that inhabits regions of Southeast Asia. While small snakes typically rely on defense mechanisms such as fleeing, camouflage, coloration, odors, death-feigning, and intimidation, investigators have discovered that the Dwarf Reed Snake performs active cartwheeling when threatened. By launching the coils of its body into the air and rolling down inclines repeatedly, the snake is able to defend itself against predators.
This unique defense mechanism provides insights into the kinetic abilities of snakes and highlights the complex nature of their defense strategies.
Evan Seng Huat Quah, PhD, of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, said:
“My colleagues and I were excited when we successfully captured images that documented cartwheeling behavior in this species. We believe that this behavior may be more widespread in other small snake species, especially members of the subfamily Calamariinae, but the lack of records is probably an artefact of the challenges in detecting and observing these secretive species.”
In-Article Image CreditsPseudorabdion longiceps snake doing cartwheels via Wiley Online Library by Biotropica - Evan Quah with usage type - News Release Media
Featured Image CreditPseudorabdion longiceps snake doing cartwheels via Wiley Online Library by Biotropica - Evan Quah with usage type - News Release Media