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Old 04-25-18, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A question of orientation.

Today was feeding day, and while watching my snake eat I became curious. So my questions aren't all that serious, just wondering if anybody had some insight. I generally try to get my snake to attack the head of the mice I feed him, but he gets so aggressive and everything happens so fast that it doesn't always work out. So a lot of time he grabs the body. Sometimes he works his way toward the head, which makes the whole process at least look like it's a lot easier, and which should, for wild snakes at least, carry a lot of advantages. But just as often he moves the other way and swallows tail end first. I've tried to figure out if there's some pattern to which way he goes (for example does he always move to his right or left? towards the end with the shortest distance between his mouth and the end of the mouse, etc), however, I've seen no hint of any pattern.

So my questions are, has anybody ever seen a pattern in their own animal? Anybody have any tricks to get the snake to eat head first? Again, just curious. Thanks.
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Old 04-25-18, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A question of orientation.

Sometimes if they latch onto any other part of the body they will let go and smell out the head...but everything I have ever owned has taken prey backwards, upside down, sideways, you name it. No real trick you can use to get them to eat head first...I've even had them latch onto the head and move to another spot and proceed to eat the "wrong" way.
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Old 04-25-18, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: A question of orientation.

Very interesting! Especially your story about latching onto the head and moving the "wrong" way. Seems so counterproductive, but I guess it all ends up in the right place one way or another. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 04-25-18, 08:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: A question of orientation.

Agree...

I've seen my juvenile Black/White CA Striped King take one folded in half and my Zebra JCP took one of the three live mice bass ackwards this afternoon.

Nature at it's best!

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Originally Posted by Andy_G View Post
Sometimes if they latch onto any other part of the body they will let go and smell out the head...but everything I have ever owned has taken prey backwards, upside down, sideways, you name it. No real trick you can use to get them to eat head first...I've even had them latch onto the head and move to another spot and proceed to eat the "wrong" way.
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Old 04-26-18, 08:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: A question of orientation.

Hognose snakes frequently eat their mice butt first. I've never figured out why, and I've never heard a plausible explanation, either.
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Old 04-26-18, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: A question of orientation.

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I've seen my juvenile Black/White CA Striped King take one folded in half
Can't say I've seen anything approaching this, though I don't think racers have the same flexibility in their jaw as many other species of snake. I'm not sure he could even if he tried, and it would probably make me nervous to watch.

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Hognose snakes frequently eat their mice butt first. I've never figured out why, and I've never heard a plausible explanation, either.
Interesting, maybe it has something to do with being a toad specialist, though I can't see why a toad would be any easier to eat backwards then a rodent.

Thanks all for the replies. I guess it's not just me, no patterns even though it seems like something that would make their feeding easier (just based on how much shorter it takes when mine eats head first vs the other way).
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