May 24, 2015

Coral Snakes and the Fart of Death

By D. Filipiak
Coral snakes are poisonous snakes. They’re also small and pretty quiet. So how can the snakes warn other creatures not to mess with them?

By farting. Check it!

When provoked, coral snakes make a popping sound by expelling air from their cloaca, a single opening for the urinary, reproductive and intestinal tract, to startle the threat.  Scientists disagree about the behavior's purpose. Some have speculated that it is a mating call, but Gemano said that in his research, the fart was always associated with an aggressive-defensive behavior.

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