Search our site

Custom Search

Thursday 23 September 2021

Snake acrobatics

 By Pavel Kirillov via WikiCommons.
Brown tree snakes make a lasso with their tails to help them climb up wide trees. A non-indigenous invasive species in Guam, scientists think that this climbing technique may be a new adaptation to help them survive and persist in their new environment. The climbing technique isn’t easy, and requires a colossal amount of energy and concentration: but there is a reward at the end of it. The brown snakes eat the native birds – which is why they’re a problem – and also why they’re so determined to climb those trees.

Scientists have been working on bird conservation, trying to create snake-proof tree guards and bird boxes, but this recently observed climbing demonstrates that they’re very capable of overcoming many of our engineered barriers: scientists will have to think again.

Studying the brown snakes is important, because it helps scientists better understand and control them. Not only are they playing havoc on the local ecosystem, but they’re also causing power outages with their climbing adventures – approximately every four days!

Additionally, robotics engineers think that we could learn something from snakes to help build new moving objects. They have developed new strategies, which take engineers beyond walking versus wheeling concepts and open the doors to new kinds of engineering creativity.
Tree snake climbing a wire. USDA via Flickr.

why don't all references have links?
Savidge, J. A., Seibert, T. F., Kastner, M., & Jayne, B. C. (2021). Lasso locomotion expands the climbing repertoire of snakes. Current Biology, 31(1), R7-R8. doi:

No comments:

Post a Comment