Thursday, August 16, 2012

King Snake Kills!!! 08/15/12


 Yesterday was spent exploring a beautiful and neglected portion of Sespe Creek with Jack Elliott (link). That story is under development right now but I thought that these photos (taken on that day) of a California King Snake straight up killing this garter snake were too good to hide halfway down a blog post, so here you are. Snake on snake predation, very rare to see this in the wild. We hung out from the first bite through to the garter's bitter death. The king seemed to realize that he wasn't going to be able to eat the garter and was trying to disengage when we left. This was a grotesquely cool thing to watch. The photos below start with the King's initial bite (a bit back from the garter's head) and the rapid corkscrew wrap that constrictors do to immobilize prey, followed by successive biting up the garter's neck, and the eventual suffocation and death of the garter.

Taken under water.

Taken under water.

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