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Found: Snakes That Hunt in Packs

Cuban boas coordinate their strikes from cave ceilings.

When these guys grow up, they might hunt bats together.
When these guys grow up, they might hunt bats together. Lorne Neff/Public domain

In the caves of Cuba, at Desembarco del Granma National Park, boas hunt in packs. That’s the conclusion of a study published in Animal Behavior and Cognition, reports ScienceAlert.

In addition to ambushing rodents, birds, and lizards, Cuban boas sometimes snatch Jamaican fruit bats right out of the air. They do this by curling themselves into small cavities in the ceilings and walls of the caves where they bats live. Watching for the right moment, the snakes strike the bats when they fly by. Vladimir Dinets, of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, wanted to know whether the snakes organize themselves to increase their chances of hunting success.

Dinets found that when many snakes hunt at the same time, they do not just choose random cavities to hunt from. They coordinate their positions and create a kind of danger zone for bats. So organized, the snakes were more likely to impede the bats and successfully grab a meal. Teamwork!