On our planet is inhabited by a huge variety of creatures, and snakes — some of the most amazing wildlife. At the moment scientists know of more than 3,000 species of these creatures and each of them is fraught with many mysteries. Anyone would be hard to believe, but scientists still are not sure why all the snakes are painted in different colors and in most cases is covered with intricate patterns. Some researchers logically imply that decorated with drawings of snakes bodies help them hide from predators and potential prey. But other groups of scientists doubted it. Perhaps now the debate will be less, because the ability of snake skin to disguise their owners was proved in the course of a little experiment.
The results of the scientific work carried out by Finnish scientists, was published in . To check how colouring snakes affects their visibility in their natural habitat, the researchers sculpted from clay 50 models of common vipers (Vipera berus). They made copies of different color and texture of individuals: black, grey and brown, as well as their variations with patterns on the back. Artificial snakes were scattered in different places along the forest trails, and some of them were right, others were curtailed.
adder is a relatively small snake, its body length is about 65 cm,
The path, which was surrounded by trees and grass, were 129 volunteers. They were given a task — to count all the "snakes" that they notice in their environment while walking. As it turned out, the patterned dummy was for people less visible than just painted in a specific color. But the color of the artificial snakes played a major role in disguise gray models were easier to detect than brown.
Researchers noticed that the appearance of vipers depends directly on the floor. The grey colour is almost always found in males, that is they are more visible to others animals. It can be assumed that their appearance males warn predators about their toxicity. The greatest danger to them, as strange as it may sound, are hedgehogs. They are immune to poison of vipers, provoke them to attack and dramatically curl up into a ball, so snake was injured on the spikes. The tactic is repeated as long as the snake does not falter, after that hedgehogs can easily eat them.
Some male vipers, for all its "dullness", have a design on the back. Researchers believe that during the movement of the pattern creates an optical illusion as a faint flicker that confuses other natural enemies of vipers: foxes, badgers and ferrets. However, this illusion is ineffective against predatory birds like owls because of their powerful eyesight like blink — not a hindrance. And do vipers feed on rodents and ravage bird nests. To their relatives they do not attack, but other species of snakes completely .
the Eagles — one of the most dangerous enemies of snakes
As for females, they are brown colored and less visible than males. Their main task — taking care of offspring, so they must be carefully masked. Brown with black patterns helps them remain inconspicuous among the leaves, twigs, stones and earth. Vipers belong to the viviparous animals, that is, the eggs develop in the womb. In General, nature as always had a smart and colored males of vipers in the "military" color, and females — in protections.
In the video you can see the birth of little vipers. Not a pretty sight, but interesting!
It is Logical to assume that the role of the color of the body is the same for all varieties of snakes. Most of them live in forests, therefore, painted in a dark color that help them camouflage on a background of old trees and wet grass. Take, for example, living in the tropical forests of the Royal Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), which is considered one of the most poisonous snakes on the planet. They are painted in dark colors, and in the bodies of some individuals alternated black and brown. This color helps them to hide in caves and remain invisible in the trees.
Interesting fact: 7 milliliters of king Cobra venom is enough to kill a man in 15 minutes
It is Noteworthy that in the world there are very bright snakes like kraits (Bungarus). They live in tropical forests of India and Pakistan and active in the night time. Their color is mysterious — it would seem, nocturnal predators need to be less noticeable, but they are painted black and yellow and quickly catch the eye. Based on the results of the above experiment, it is logical to assume that its color they just scare away unwanted enemies. And during the hunt they hide under the forest litter — decomposing leaves of the trees.
The experiment allowed us to learn another interesting fact about snakes. But they are still very mysterious and scientists from different parts of the world are actively exploring. While they do this, I recommend reading an article about why people are trying to create . Because of poisonous snakes on the planet and so are so full and they kill thousands of people a year, why try to create a substance that can kill?
Scientists know of about 3,000 species of snakes, only around 400 of them are poisonous.
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