We bet you wouldn’t believe us if we told you that the best performance we’ve seen this year came from a snake!
Photographer Kenneth Gisi from Texas happened to stumble across this Eastern Hognose snake as a feral cat was hunting it. And the chances are – Kenneth’s arrival may just have saved the snake’s life!
Eastern Hognose snakes have very distinctive features that make them easy to identify – including an upturned snout and small, stout body.
But, as Kenneth was about to find out, Eastern Hognose snakes are best known for their surprising but very effective defence mechanisms!
Whenever it feels under threat, the serpent flattens its head and begins hissing menacingly to ward of predators. Sometimes, if it is really frightened, the snake will even strike out as if to bite its attackers.
It might sound mad but it certainly works – and has earned the Eastern Hognose the nicknames ‘flat head’ and ‘blowing adder’.
But that’s not the only trick the Eastern Hognose has up its sleeve! If the impressive hissing isn’t enough to ward of predators it move on to its next tactic – playing dead.
This isn’t any ordinary playing dead though. Instead of just laying completely still, the Eastern Hognose thrashes around wildly first, contorting it’s body as if it was dying a very slow and incredibly painful death. It even goes so far as to hang it’s forked tongue out of its mouth – just to make sure the scene is believable!
A little over the top? Some might think so, but it really does seem to work for this little reptile. After faking their own deaths, the snakes then stay ‘dead’ until the danger has passed before carrying on with their day.
We’re not sure that words can ever do this performance justice, so make sure you watch the video of Kenneth’s footage above to see this amazing snake in action!