Kumchun Chan’s five video clips show how a Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) struggled to overcome a long snake.
Had the monitor lizard got hold of the snake’s head in the first instance, it would be easy to dispose of its prey. Apparently it was not necessary to aim at the head, if at all it was possible to do so.
So the first bite was at a point somewhere near the tail. But this allowed the snake to target the lizard’s head and belly, possibly the weakest areas as the body is covered with thick scales.
As soon as the snake poised to strike at the lizard’s head, the latter vigorously shook its head. This sent the snake’s head thrashing backwards, even coiling round the lizard’s body. The lizard acted similarly when the snake struck at its belly.
With its jaws clamped on the snake’s body, the lizard was slowly moving towards the head, chomping on the body all the time. At the same time the lizard was rubbing the snake’s body against the hard ground.
The lizard’s jaws finally moved towards the head of the snake at which time the snake lost the will to fight back. Then suddenly the lizard reached out for the tail end and continued chomping on the body.
According to Kumchun, the snake was exhausted within 10 minutes of the struggle. Towards the end the lizard dragged the snake into the nearby bushes as a few people moved closer. Most probably the lizard eventually swallowed the snake.
3rd March 2017
This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.