Jun 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

'King Snakes' Use The World's Most Lethal Squeeze To Kill Much Bigger Opponents

Mar 16, 2017 06:28 AM EDT

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In the animal kingdom, every single day leads to a new battle for survival. It is often that the weaker ones fall prey to the bigger and stronger predators. King snakes, though, don't follow the same rule as they tend to kill and eat snakes nearly 20 percent bigger than them in size.

According to National Geographic, King snakes found in North America don't escape larger individuals. In fact, they rather attack them in most cases. A new study has found that the King snake outmuscles its opponents most of the times. This seems to be quite baffling as rat snakes, which generally grows much bigger than the king snakes, possesses the same amount of muscle mass as that of the king snakes of the same age, the study showed.

The main difference is made by the constriction strength of the two species of snakes, opine the researchers. After examining a number of dead and live specimens of different snakes, the researchers took to an experiment. They filled commercially bought dead mice with water bulbs and fed them to 182 snakes, wiggling the mice to make them look alive to the serpents. It was seen that the king snakes exerts twice the pressure exerted by rat snakes, measuring up to 180 mm Hg, making the king snakes the strongest constrictor in the world.

According to Live Science, out of the 182 snakes that were fed dead mice, 89 were king snakes. As per the study, 91 percent of them formed uniform loops, like the coil of a spring, maximizing the force for the snake to squeeze its prey. The same kind of spring-like coils is performed by a meager 5 percent of the 93 rat snakes brought in for study.

The researchers also found that while the king snakes will squeeze its prey with a force somewhere between 0.7 to 6 lbs, the rat snakes will do the same with a maximum force between 0.4 to 3 lbs. This is indicative of the reason behind king snakes winning most of their encounters, which is their lethal constriction strength, opine the researchers.

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