In the dense jungles of South America, nature can be both beautiful and terrifying. Animals of all shapes and sizes coexist in this lush ecosystem, but sometimes, their paths can cross in unexpected ways.
The largest concentration of them is found in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico. Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes, more than any other state. The most distinctive feature these speᴄlias share is the rattle.
Residents of the southwestern United States have likely heard the distinctive buzz of these vipers. Its namesake rattle is a highly effective warning signal, telling predators to stay away.
The hikers were both amazed and disturbed by the sight. On one hand, they were impressed by the snake’s hunting skills and ability to consume prey that was almost its own size. On the other hand, they couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor crocodile that had been eaten alive.
The incident sparked a heated debate among scientists and nature enthusiasts. Some argued that this was simply a case of natural selection and survival of the fittest. Others expressed concern that the bushmaster’s diet could lead to the decline of the crocodile population in the region.
“Rattles are segments of keratin that fit loosely inside one another at the end of the snake’s tail,” explained Sara Viernum, a Madison, Wisconsin-based herpetologist.
As for the bushmaster, it continued to hunt and consume prey in the jungle, its venomous fangs ensuring that it remained at the top of the food chain. And while the incident was tragic for the newborn crocodile, it also served as a powerful example of the raw power and primal instincts of the animals that call the South American jungle their home.