Do Snakes Fight Each Other And How Do They Fight? (+ Videos)

Most animals compete with each other and establish dominance in different ways.

This may leave you wondering:

How do snakes fight?

The snakes fight by rising into the air, intertwining and fighting each other to the ground. The fights are generally not fatal, except when they involve one snake eating another.

Check out more details on snake battles.

How do snakes fight?

reasons to fight
The most common thing is that two animals fight each other because there is something that each of them wants.

Sometimes it is about territory, other times about food and many times about a partner.

Snakes’ reasons for fighting are nuanced, and actual fights are rare.

Snakes generally do not claim territory for themselves.

Male snakes are quite social and often cross paths without conflict, so conditions must be right for a fight to break out.

How do snakes fight over their mate?
The main reason snakes fight is to get a mate.

Fights are always between two males and there is often a female snake somewhere in the area while they are fighting.

The dance”
People who witness snake fights often mistake them for mating rituals because the fighting snakes appear to be dancing.

It’s an understandable mistake, since many animal fights are lethal.

Snakes are not as ruthless as many other animals when they fight; it is more about intimidation than about hurting or killing each other.

This non-lethal form of fighting is called a rut, where one snake shows dominance but does not harm the other snake.

Even venomous snakes are generally not violent: they are not immune to their venom, but they do not use it on each other.

Non-venomous snakes can bite each other, but they usually don’t do much damage.

The “dance” begins when both snakes lift one to two thirds of their body off the ground, practically “standing up”.

This is sometimes called an upright combat pose.

They will face a few inches apart and then sway back and forth while maintaining eye contact, almost as if they are in a staring contest.

Then they will start pushing each other’s heads and necks.

Over time, they will intertwine and crash to the ground.

This process will repeat itself until a winner is declared, usually when a snake decides it has had enough and leaves the area.

Check out this video of two black mambas engaged in precisely this behavior.

Will snakes ever fight over territory?
Certain snakes, including ball pythons, will fight each other even when a female is not present.

Instead, their battle decides who gets to stay in an area with excellent mate-finding potential.

A fight winner is declared when one snake knocks the other to the ground.

Either he earns the right to mate with the female waiting in the wings or he wins the prime real estate where she can later find a mate.

The loser must retire.

She survives and is free to work her magic on another woman in another place.

Sometimes a cranky old snake will scare off an overzealous young thief just through intimidation, eliminating the need to fight.

Food fight!
The rules of the game change drastically when the focus of the conflict is food.

Because when snakes fight over food, one of them is the food.

When the loser of the battle is eaten, it is a matter of life and death.

biting and constricting
A staple of many snakes’ diets are smaller snakes.

When one snake hunts another, all bets are off.

Bite, restrain: Whatever tactic the predator uses when hunting, it will use during battle, and the prey can retaliate with equally lethal defenses.

The king cobra, a venomous snake, feeds almost exclusively on other snakes.

In other battle circumstances, poisonous snakes wouldn’t even think of poisoning each other.

But in their search for food, these snakes will try to bite each other with deadly results.

The kingsnake is one of the best known constrictors whose diet consists of other snake species.

His name is appropriate because he is known for never losing a fight.

This constrictor will suffocate and eat other constrictors, even when they are the same size or up to 20% larger!

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