Snakes vs. porcupines: when preys leave mortal injuries

Lucas Rodriguez Forti, Ricardo Marques Silva, Paulo Manzani, Luís Felipe Toledo


Snakes are normally adapted to feed on large animals, however, many preys are able to pose high injury risks. One of the most dangerous preys for snakes are porcupines, which present a plenty of hard spines, which usually compromise the predator success after the strike.  For many snake species, the encounter with porcupines is mortal. Here we report evidences of an interaction between a viper snake (adult female) and a porcupine occurred in the Santa Genebra reserve, municipality of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Such anecdotal observation raises many intriguing questions that remains an open avenue in the field of natural history, and should inspire new efforts for provide information about predator-prey evolution.

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