Only the strong survive. Whether it be in a civilized society or back in the days of Neanderthals, the strong survive and the weak slowly die off. Evolution dictates that only those genes (and subsequently people) which have a predilection to maintain sustenance will be passed on and genes that are not beneficial or sufficient to survival will be removed. This is evident also in animals; the genes that help one hunt will be passed from generation to generation and the genes for prey that help protect themselves will be enhanced and passed to the offspring.
In the animal kingdom when the biggest, strongest and fastest reign supreme, other herbivores that don’t hunt need to develop some form of protection.
Whether it be the speed of a gazelle or the tusks of an elephant, animals that are not natural predators have to create some sort of defense mechanism. Read on to find out what happens when a boa constrictor tried to eat a porcupine.
A video from Brazil shows a boa constrictor known as a Jiboia, writhing and squirming in pain as its reptilian skin was riddled with numerous quills of a porcupine.
A boa constrictor, as its name suggest, uses the method of constriction as its primary weapon to capture prey.
Although this snake’s regular diet consists of chickens and baby piglets, it decided to step it up a notch by going after a porcupine.
A porcupine is protected by its quills, so that in the event that a predator wants to capture it and eat it, it can flare its quills out and defend itself.
And that’s exactly what happened when the boa constrictor tried to wrap its long torso around the prey. (It didn’t help that the snake tried to squeeze its prey to death when the prey had long, sharp quills.)
Where other predators use vision to dictate if an animal can be taken down or not, a snake usually uses thermal or chemical sensory mechanisms.
Thus, the snake was not able to see the quills flare up and it was too late by the time the snake wrapped itself around the porcupine.
What is just as cringe worthy as the snake writhing in pain is the lack of help the cameraman provided for the snake.
Seeing as it is a boa constrictor, it doesn’t have any venom so the cameraman shouldn’t be worried about the poison. It would have been a good deed to help the snake rid itself of those painfully sharp quills.
But this is not the first time a snake has fell victim to its prey. More specifically a porcupine.
In 2015, a 13 foot long African Rock python was found dead after rangers discovered dozens of quills protruding from its belly.
The bloated snake was found at the bottom of a rocky overhang after it apparently ate itself to death. Reserve managers found the dead snake but are not quite sure of the exact cause of its death.
While the final meal was not digested, rangers could not determine if it was the fall from the overhang that caused the death or the punctures from the quills.
Some experts speculate that the fall caused the punctures to occur, while opposing arguments state that the inefficiency of the digestion caused the fall which then quickened the death.
In either scenario, when the carcass was examined, it was obvious that numerous sharp quills were lodged in the snake’s digestive tract.
In Yasuni in 2012, an anaconda was found with numerous quills stuck to its skin. As one of the most powerful reptiles in the Amazon it was quite the sight to see the predator become the prey. But in this scenario, cameramen and other journeymen tried to lend the snake a hand by removing the deadly quills.