General, Research, Technology

Jack the Ripper: what does the most violent snake in the world look like?

According to The Reptile Database, at the momentscientists are aware of the existence of more than 3500 species of snakes. It doesn't matter at all whether they are poisonous or not - almost all of these reptiles behave aggressively towards their victims. But among the snakes there are also real rippers who eat other animals without even killing them. These fierce creatures are known as kukri snakes (Oligodon fasciolatus) and are predominantly found in Thailand. Scientists have learned about their cruelty relatively recently. The moments when snakes gut the insides of their victims have been observed by scientists since 2016. Researchers have already managed to describe in detail this entire terrible process and find out why snakes use this method of eating their victims. It turns out that there is a logical explanation for this behavior - snakes are trying to avoid poisonous substances from entering their bodies.

This snake is cruel in a very unusual way.

Cruel snakes

Extraordinarily cruel snakes were described inscientific journal Science Alert. As a rule, snakes either eat their victims in pieces or swallow them completely. But the aforementioned kukri snakes are the only ones of their kind who stick their heads inside other animals and without even killing them eats internal organs. These snakes especially love to feed on black cicatrix toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), whose skin secretes toxic substances. Researchers believe that kukri snakes gut these toads solely so as not to accidentally swallow the poisons they release. The assumption sounds very logical.

Black scar toad

See also: Is it possible to create snake venom in the laboratory and why is it needed?

The length of kukri snakes can reach 115 centimeters,and the toads that they love grow up to 20 centimeters. For the first time, scientists had a chance to see the battle of these creatures in 2016. At the time the snake was found in a pool of blood, the toad was already dead. According to eyewitnesses, the snake shook its head to the sides and pulled out all the internal organs of the toad. The same violent scene was observed in 2020 and lasted for almost three hours. Most of the time the toad survived, but this did not interfere with the bloodthirsty creature. Kukri snakes do not gut their victims only on very rare occasions. For example, when a toad is young and unable to excrete a lot of poison, in this case it can be swallowed whole.

Kukri snakes are often favored by toads

If you are interested in the news of science and technology, subscribe to our channel in Yandex. Dzen. There you will find materials that have not been published on the site!

Features of kukri snakes

But can these snakes from Thailand do the sameto be cruel to people too? Scientists are sure that no - such cases have not yet been recorded. And such situations are unlikely to arise, because these creatures are too weak to attack people with such cruelty. If provoked, they can only bite and cause severe bleeding. This ability is explained by the fact that during the bite they release anticoagulants - substances that reduce blood clotting. And besides, they have very dangerous-looking fangs. They look like the blades of the kukri, the national knives of Nepal. That is why these snakes got their strange name.

Kukri knife

According to the author of the scientific work Henrik Brings(Henrik Bringsoe), Kukri snakes have another feature. They do not leave stab wounds on the bodies of their victims. Due to the unusual shape of their fangs, they literally cut other animals to pieces. Perhaps snakes are skillfully used in hunting and the aforementioned anticoagulants. Even if the cutting wounds do not lead the animal to death, it will still lose strength due to severe blood loss. After being bitten by a kukri snake, small animals like toads have little chance of survival. In humans, bleeding goes away in a couple of hours, or even faster if you drink drugs to accelerate blood clotting.

Photos of the kukri snake gutting its prey can be viewed here.

As mentioned, our planet is inhabited bya huge variety of snakes. Many of them have amazing abilities. Did you know that flying snakes of the Chrysopelea paradisi species live in the forests of Thailand, Indonesia and other warm countries? Outwardly, they are very beautiful and are colored green with yellow and orange hues. They feed on small lizards and predominantly live in trees. I talked about how they manage to fly 24 meters in this article. To find out, scientists have conducted a thorough surveillance of these creatures!