Showing posts with label predation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label predation. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Attempted Predation on a Human by Python sebae

Python sebae, JCM Natural History Photography
The following story is being reported today by The Standard, Kenya's Bold Newspaper

50-year-old woman is admitted in hospital after she was attacked by a python in a maize plantation in Siaya County.

The woman fought for nearly ten minutes with the huge reptile that had coiled around her in Ginga Village in Gem district.

She sustained serious bite wounds from the python—which is not among poisonous snakes.

Roseline Akinyi was on her way from a neighbour’s house where she had taken her mobile phone for charging barely 100 metres from her house when she was attacked by the snake.

On her way back through a maize plantation, the huge snake pounced and bit her coiling itself around her but she put up a spirited fight and managed to free herself from the python.

She raised alarm screaming at the top of her voice but neighbours could not hear her due to heavy rain.

She said she managed to hold the python's neck, which she kept on squeezing tightly until it uncoiled and slithered into the maize plantation.

She managed to call a neighbour and was rushed to Yala sub-district hospital.

The hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Bob Awino confirmed that the patient was closely being monitored and that her condition was stable.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Attempted Predation on the Common Marmoset by a Lancehead

The Callitrichidae are dwarf lineage or arboreal primates commonly known as marmosets, tamarins, and lion tamarins that evolved in the Amazon Basin where rivers are biogeographic barriers. Their small size makes them particularly vulnerable to snakes. Ferrari and Beltrão-Mendes (in press, 2011) describe a juvenile common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) attacked by a whitetail lancehead, Bothrops leucurus. The juvenile was playing with others close to the ground when the snake struck. The attack was almost immediately fatal, the juveile was dead within seconds of envenomation. However, the snake was unable to ingest the body of the marmoset, and after 10 min the viper abandoned the body. The authors note that raptors are usually considered the principal predators of callitrichids, but that their record reinforces vulnerability of these primates to snakes. Juveniles and infants may be at higher risk when distracted by play. Snakes have undoubtedly been an important slection factor during primate history.

Ferrari, S. F. and R. Beltrão-Mendes. 2011 in press. Do snakes represent the principal predatory threat to callitrichids? Fatal attack of a viper (Bothrops leucurus) on a common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) in the Atlantic Forest of the Brazilian Northeast. Primates DOI: 10.1007/s10329-011-0260-8

Monday, February 28, 2011

Predator and Prey: Reticulated Pythons and Humans

Reticulated Pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus) inhabit South and Southeast Asia and they are the longest snake alive today. Humans are attacked and eaten by these super predators and in Indonesia and Sarawak (Malaysia) there are 20 reasonably reliable cases known in the last 150 years. Ruud de Lang reports that this is an underestimate of reality because many cases of Reticulated Python predation on humans remain known only at the local level. He investigated several incidents. As is often the case, food webs are more complex that first thought, and humans do prey upon and eat Reticulated Pythons. He notes the difficult in deciding why the Reticulated Pythons attacked humans. They may have been accidental encounters that resulted in a defensive attack or a hungry snake waiting in ambush for a prey. Large Reticulated Pythons are strong and a single person is no match for a snake that is 3 m long or more.

De Lang R., 2010. The Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus) and man (Homo sapiens) Eat Each Other: Animals , Enjoy Your Meal! Litteratura Serpentium 30(4):254-269.