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What eats snakes? 10 Animals That Eat Snakes

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key point

  • Snakes belong to the category of reptiles.
  • They lay eggs and are cold blooded animals, they eat other animals and eggs to survive, they like warm weather and go into hibernation in winter.
  • There are various animals and birds that eat snakes.

Snakes are undoubtedly one of the most dangerous species on Earth. Of the three thousand different species that inhabit this planet, only two hundred can actually harm humans. Even so, most people prefer to avoid the path of the snake. Here are some facts about snakes that will blow your mind

  • Snakes are found all over the world except Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Antarctica, and Greenland.
  • There are many islands in the world where snakes are banned from tourists.
  • Snakes are cold-blooded animals that lack the ability to regulate body temperature.
  • Snakes eat by swallowing their food whole.

There are many different types of carnivores that eat snakes. This includes many birds that have the ability to pounce on usually suspicious reptiles, taking them by surprise in deserts or forests. There are plenty of animals with ribs that love snakes. We won't mention that one of the biggest snake killers is some kind of two-legged creature.

Here is a list of 10 animals that eat snakes.

#1 Wolverine

what eats snakes
Wolverine has been known to take down Cobra

© iStock.com/Erik Mandre

Wolverines are the penultimate predator. The animal is ruthless and will attack and eat anything it comes across. Rodents, rabbits, worms, mice, frogs, birds, and of course snakes are all part of their food chain. Wolverine has been known to take down Cobras!

Although relatively small, the Wolverine is a member of the weasel family. The Wolverine is a powerful and versatile scavenger and predator. A solitary animal, the creature is muscular and strong. It climbs and spends a lot of time catching birds in trees. But Wolverine is no static creature. Predators move 15 miles a day in search of food. The animal burrows only to catch other hibernating animals.

To learn more about Wolverine, click here.

#2 Mongoose

what eats snakes
Mongooses are known for aggressively attacking venomous snakes such as the king cobra.

© Steve Bushman/Shutterstock.com

Mongooses have unique defenses against most venomous snakes. According to some, these predators have unique acetylcholine receptors that make them immune to various venoms.

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Despite this immunity, being bitten by a snake's teeth is never a pleasant event, and mongooses rely on speed and agility to charge in with a deadly bite before settling down for dinner.

Members of the genus Herpes, who live in warmer regions of Africa, Asia, and southern Europe, prefer snakes on the menu.

The genus includes the Angora slender mongoose ( H. flavescens ), the Cape gray mongoose ( H. pulverulentus ), the common slender mongoose ( H. sanguineus ) and the Egyptian mongoose ( H. ichneumon ).

Click here to read more about Mongoose.

#3 King Snake

what eats snakes
King snakes are known to eat other snakes, including venomous ones. King snakes are apparently immune to the venom of the snakes they prey on.

© Radiant Reptilia/Shutterstock.com

Knowing that a king snake bites a cousin and strangles it, it's almost like an act of cannibalism. But this behavior is not uncommon in the snake world. Whether in the desert or the forest, it is rumored that this is how the animal earned the status of "king", due to its ability to dominate the snake kingdom and happily eat its own kind.

King snakes are a popular choice as a family pet. The predator belongs to the family Colubridae and tends to have colorful tricolor patterns. Common species in this family are the milk snake (with one of the largest subspecies) and the scarlet king snake, which also eats lizards. Science considers both creatures to be false coral snakes. That's because their patterns and colors mimic venomous coral snakes.

#4 Snake Eagle

what eats snakes
Snakehawks attack snakes from above, grabbing them and crushing them with their claws.

©COULANGES/Shutterstock.com

Snakes are said to have nightmares about snake-hawks. This predatory bird has the ability to decapitate and swallow snakes whole in flight. Although smaller than eagles, they are a gigantic figure when soaring. They found food – a magnificent snake – and dived to grab the reptile in its claws. It was back in the air, and the snake writhed. Mid-air, Eagle Strike!

The snake eagle's legs are tightly protected by a layer of scales. A thick layer exposes the kibosh to the poison. That's a big plus for birds that regularly and easily take on black mambas and cobras in the rainforest, as well as many more of the world's deadliest and fastest snakes. Snake vultures also like to prey on rodents, lizards, fish and bats.

#5 Lynx

what eats snakes
Bobcats are one of nature's most fearless predators, making them one of the few native creatures that dare kill and eat venomous snakes.

© iStock.com/John Pitcher

A bobcat will chase a smaller animal at every opportunity. Predators feed on rabbits, snakes, rodents, eggs and lizards. But bobcats also love a challenge, chasing whitetail deer and rattlesnakes in the desert. Pure opportunists, if it moves, bobcats will eat it if they can catch it.

Read more  Leopard vs Jaguar – 7 Key Differences

Bobcats are territorial and solitary, marking boundaries with their scent to deter other cats. Males let their territory overlap with several females, ruling over 40 square miles of land simultaneously. They are shy and elusive. Bobcats are rarely seen. Bobcats wander at night and make a point of avoiding us. They climb and sleep in rock crevices, swamps, bushes and hollow trees.

Find out more about the Bobcats here.

#6 Hedgehog

what eats snakes
Hedgehogs are immune to many toxins, giving them a unique ability to eat some poisonous animals. For example, they can eat venomous snakes, scorpions, and frogs without any ill effects.

© Denis Nata/Shutterstock.com

One of the unusual and unique traits of the hedgehog is its immunity to various toxins. It enables animals to eat a group of poisonous animals in the food chain without adverse effects. This includes scorpions, spiders, beetles, frogs, bees and snakes. During nighttime hunting, bobcats consume a third of their body weight, chewing on plants, insects, small vertebrates, and critters that can sicken or kill other animals.

Some hedgehogs live primarily on small insects. Other hedgehogs are a combination of herbivores, insectivores, and carnivores (that is, omnivores). They eat anything, and for a long time. However, the creature has also been known to go without food for long periods of time. Hedgehogs have been without food or water for more than two months in a controlled environment.

Find the scoop on hedgehogs here.

#7 Scottish Terrier

what eats snakes
The Scottish Terrier, bred in Scotland, used to hunt foxes and badgers as well as many burrowing animals.

© iStock.com/kostya6969

No breed of dog has an innate liking for snakes. But they are curious. Dogs chase the way other dogs happily sprint behind cars, cats, or squirrels. The Scottish Terrier is a dog bred for hunting and killing. Other canids in this category include rat terriers and large dogs. Breeders train these dogs to look for animals that move, so many of them hunt animals like snakes.

The Scottish Terrier is a confident and independent companion. The dog's piercing eyes convey keen awareness, and the erect ears suggest concentration. This is an efficient and professional working dog. They make excellent watchdogs, and if you have snakes or snake eggs on your property, expect these creatures to sneak away after encountering your hounds. or worse.

You can learn more about the Scottish Terrier here.

#8 Honey Badger

what eats snakes
Up to 25 percent of a honey badger's omnivorous diet consists of venomous snakes.

©Erwin Niemand/Shutterstock.com

Since they are immune to king cobra bites, honey badgers keep track of the snakes. Considered a productive food, honey badgers keep a close eye on dense bushes, trees, and even burrows, looking for animals up the food chain. During the warmer part of the year when snakes are active, predatory badgers make up more than half of their total snake feed.

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Even deadly venomous snakes are prey. Science cannot explain honey badger immunity. On one occasion, a honey badger collapsed after devouring the head of a bellied viper. The badger appeared to be dead, except that it awoke from a lethargic nap two hours later and staggered away. Other highly venomous animals have been reported to have no effect on honey badgers.

Click here to take a closer look at this critter.

#9 King Cobra

what eats snakes
King cobras like to settle for a snake meal and may be interested in a single species

©Vova Shevchuk/Shutterstock.com

In the tropical rainforest, the king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world. Some reach a frightening 18-foot span. A recurring item on the menu is other snakes. The animal's Latin name is Ophiophagus hannah , which means "snake eater." While these carnivores eat tuataras and similar cold-blooded animals, they live to keep snakes on the food chain.

King cobras are constantly hunting and foraging for their own kind. Deaf king cobras have a keen sense of smell. It is wary of this prey, and as soon as it smells it, the cobra will start hunting. For some reason, these predators tended to eat snakehead first because it seemed to aid digestion, the researchers said. Strangely, some king cobras eat only one type of snake throughout their lives.

You can learn more about the King Cobra if you go here.

#10 Secretary Bird

what eats snakes
Scientists in the UK have discovered that the secretary bird, native to sub-Saharan Africa, can deliver precise and powerful kicks with five times its body weight; enough to kill a venomous snake in the blink of an eye.

©Barbara Ash/Shutterstock.com

Secretary Bird kicks hard. The strength of the predator is five times its body weight. This is enough to take down a large poisonous snake in the blink of an eye. The secretary bird has crane-like legs and stands more than four feet tall. Unlike most birds, which find their prey from the air, this creature hunts on foot. Another difference from other bird hunters is that the secretary bird does not chase down its prey with its beak or claws, but instead steps on a snake.

The advantages Vipers usually take advantage of are efficiency and speed. Unfortunately, the secretary bird can match that, delivering a fatal blow to the head of its prey with great accuracy. Otherwise, the bird is at risk of being bitten or caught. But studies have shown that secretary birds move fast enough that their motor control and visual targeting allow for a second attack if the first strike is successful.

*** Reward – Human

what eats snakes
Grilled snakes on skewers with chilli sauce and steamed rice on a white plate. In some cultures, boiled snakes are a popular choice.

©Yarlander/Shutterstock.com

Although not considered a delicacy in Western cultures, snakes are popular in other cultures around the world. In some societies it is healthy and a game. Whether in the rainforest or in the Orient, snake soup has been a part of dinner for more than two thousand years. While the flavor won't appeal to everyone, many cultures love snake eggs.

Read more about humans here.

summarize

The following is a list of animals and birds that prey on snakes:

rank animal name
1 Wolverine
2 mongoose
3 king snake
4 snake eagle
5 lynx
6 hedgehog
7 scottish terrier
8 Honey badger
9 Cobra
10 secretary bird

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what eats snakes
what eats snakes

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about the author


Lex is a green, tree-loving animal lover and mother of 21 felines and a dog. Now, she helps pet owners around the world become the best caretakers for their most trusted pets by sharing her experiences and spreading love.

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