WATCH: Massive Black Racer Snake Swallows Smaller, Helpless Snake Whole

by Craig Garrett
A black racer snake. - stock photo

Footage of a black racer snake folding a smaller snake in half and devouring it like a folded slice of pizza has gone viral. Nature is Metal is one of the most popular Instagram accounts, with over 4 million subscribers. It’s famous for its candid and unafraid depictions of the harsh realities that animals in the wild face every day.

This recently posted clip of a hungry black racer snake is no exception. The clip begins with the ebony serpent slithering in a wooded area. It doesn’t take long to realize why a passerby decided to pull out their phone and film it.

There’s a smaller snake dangling from the larger one’s maw. The much smaller serpent is seized at its midway point. It struggles a bit, biting the larger serpent. However, it’s of no use. With minimal effort, the adult snake gulps down the juvenile serpent. The black racer then shoots off into the woods with impressive speed.

As always, Nature is Metal provides an excellent caption to go with the footage. “Let’s talk efficiency,” they write. [A] Black racer snake starts in the middle, folds the smaller snake in half, and reduces his consumption time by 50%.” The caption is very fitting as the smaller serpent goes from struggling to stomach in less than ten seconds.

Instagram reacts to the black racer snake’s ghastly meal

The post already has amassed over 8,000 likes and dozens of comments. Several posters have pointed out the species of the unfortunate snake that’s consumed. “[This is]also a case of cannibalism,” one user commented. “The smaller snake is a juvenile racer. They undergo ontogenetic melanization. Juveniles are patterned and mimic a pygmy rattlesnake, and as they age they become solid black.” Some posters even speculated that the snakes may be related.

Meanwhile, other Instagram users just marveled at the indifferent brutality on display. “You know the little fella was still alive when he was going down the tube,” one user observed. “Just alive patiently being consumed; [that] must suck,” another follower commented.

The southern black racer is a predator whose usual prey consists of lizards, insects, moles, birds, eggs, and the like. This creature more often suffocates or crushes its victim into the ground than coils around it as most snakes do.

The black racer’s worst enemy is humans. The venomous snake has a white lining inside its mouth. Racers are nonvenomous and do not breed with cottonmouths. Natural enemies include such birds of prey as hawks, including the red-shouldered hawk and broad-winged hawk. These perching and soaring birds have keen eyesight that allows them to spot black racers and other snakes from above, leading to easy captures that the snake’s speed or ground awareness cannot prevent.