All snakes, without exception, have no legs,therefore, they can only move crawlingly. But in the forests of Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and other warm countries you can find snakes that can fly. They have no wings, but they use their bodies as parachutes and jump between trees. This method of movement allows them to quickly overcome long distances, escape from enemies and successfully catch prey. Researchers from various countries saw with their own eyes how these creatures fly over their heads, but they still could not accurately describe the technique of their flight. This moment remained unsolved until scientists from the American state of Maryland got down to business. They armed themselves with slow-motion cameras and described in detail the flight of unusual snakes.
Flying animals, which will be discussed in thisarticle, these are paradise decorated snakes (Chrysopelea paradisi). They live in the forests of Southeast Asia and reach 1.2 meters in length. For the most part, they are painted in green, which is diluted with yellow and orange shades. The most striking part of the body is the head, on which there is a spot with black stripes that form a beautiful pattern. Sometimes there are individuals who do not have any pattern on their backs and are simply painted green.
Flying kites live in rainforests and oftenfound near human settlements. There are a lot of eyewitnesses of their flights, because these reptiles lead a daily life and prey on small lizards and other animals that live on trees. Thanks to the ability to fly at a distance of up to 24 meters, they take their prey by surprise - imagine that you are walking in a park and a snake falling from above blocks you off. Fearfully? Small animals, too, but people of paradise snakes need not be afraid, because their poison is harmless to the human body.
Figuring out how snakes manage to jumpbetween trees over long distances, a group of scientists decided to tackle under the leadership of Professor Isaac Yeaton. They rented a concert hall with high ceilings and installed 23 high-speed cameras in it. At a height of eight meters, a thick branch was installed, on which flying kites should subsequently crawl and safely go down. Cameras were needed to capture this particular moment.
Before starting the experiment, to the backs of snakesglued small strips of tape. They shone, so it was easier for cameras to capture even the most inconspicuous movements of snakes in flight. As it turned out, before the flight, snakes crawl to the end of the branch and hang from it, starting to choose the direction. Having determined where to fly, the snakes repel their tail from the branch and set off for free flight.
See also: How do patterns on the backs of snakes help them go unnoticed?
During the flight, the snakes spread their ribs andretract the stomach, so that a concave surface is created in the lower part of their body. It turns out a kind of parachute, which allows the snake to carry out various maneuvers in the air. As part of the scientific work, the researchers made more than 130 entries. After studying them, they found that during maneuvers, snakes bend their bodies not only from side to side, but also move them from top to bottom. Moreover, all movements are as smooth and undulating as possible - this is important for flight accuracy. In the end, the snakes reach the necessary branch and grab it with his whole body so as not to fall.
A bomb article recently appeared on our Yandex.Zen channel about which animals are afraid of snakes.
Unfortunately, the researchers did not sharerecorded videos. But I found an excellent record from the National Geographic channel, which shows not only the appearance of paradise decorated snakes, but also demonstrates the technique of their flight. The most interesting thing begins at the twentieth second, when the snake pushes off from a tree and, after a short free flight, lands in a completely different place.
On the topic of unusual snakes I also advise you to readmaterial from the author of Hi-News.ru Ilya Hel. He once wrote that in the US state of Virginia, they found a snake that had two heads. This is a very rare phenomenon, but it sometimes does occur and scientists have a clear explanation for it. Ilya talked about all this in his article, so start reading right now.