Snake, an Australian scrub dragon (Simlia Amethistina) A radio transmitter was installed on February 4, 2014, in the wilderness of Lockerbie Scrub in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia, and was being tracked by a team led by Daniel Natusch of Macquarie University.
By March 9 it had moved up to about 300 feet in the vicinity of the home of Lee-Ann Mears and her young family, which included a pair of children between the ages of one and three.
Scrub pythons are common in the area, are non-toxic and are not considered a threat to people, although they are known to attack pets and young children. At 3.6 m (12 ft) long and weighing 4.6 kg (10 lb), this child was considered capable of posing a threat to Mears’ children.
However, because it lay under a shipping container and could not be removed, Natash advised her children to protect their rooms by closing their windows and doors.
The high temperature prompted Mears to leave his own door open, and he woke up at 2.28 am local time with his right leg in the grip of a snake, which then coiled around his body, which Natush and his What colleagues described as a “predator attack”.
Mears succeeded in freeing and trapping the snake in the kitchen and survived without serious injury. The next day the snake was released 650 feet away.
On 30 January the following year, he returned home and attacked a bear dog, causing him to faint. The dog survived but needed resuscitation, and the snake was moved even farther.
Natush described the incident as a “freak mistake”.
“I don’t believe it is fair for humans to consider scrub pythons at any danger as they already were (less of a threat than their pet dog, or a lightning strike, etc.),” Natush pointed out Newsweek Via email.
“This was a terrible mistake by a snake that was probably very hungry. The danger to children has always been, just as the danger of a pet dog snapping at a child / toddler can cause irreparable physical damage where it Causes only a minor cut. For an adult person. ”
A document co-authored by Natusch, Mears and colleagues Jessica Lyons and Richard Shine has been published in the magazine Ecology of australia. In it, he noted that Mears weighed 64 kg, which is 13 times the weight of the snake attacking him. His dog weighed 25 kg, five times more than the snake.
“If the snake was a much heavier species, the attack on Li-An would be surprising (snakes rarely eat) but not needlessly.”
However, both Mears and his dog were several orders of magnitude larger than their attacker, who would not have come from afar to successfully obtain them.
The study noted, “We consider several possible explanations. First, it may be a case of mistaken identity. In some cases, the snake can only see part of the entire prey.” “Once a snake attacks a prey, its natural feeding response continues even if the prey is too large to consume the object. The sleeping person’s immobility removes the visual cues that the object in question Whether or not (like hands or feet) is a large body part, which is a small (food-size) separate object. ”
The paper also raises the possibility that the snake could have mistaken Mears’ sweat odor for a more suitable prey, or attacked it on the off-chance that Mears might have had smaller offspring.
“Even after the snake realizes that he has seized a small part of a very large animal, he can maintain his grip because releasing the catch may allow the possible prey to be withdrawn; and if the prey Is killed, the snake may risk; attempting to swallow it, “the paper continues.
“Finally, optimal foraging theory suggests that the benefit of a large meal may increase the risk of snake prey, misrepresenting the size of a prey … favoring strenuous efforts to ingest prey Is, even if it ultimately proves physically impossible. “