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Re: Huge Freakin' Snake!

Jura wrote:

> In general, large heavy bodied snakes (boids and pythons mostly) get slower 
> as they grow larger (not that they could be considered fast at any size). 
> Since all the weight of the animal is resting on the ground, it acts as a 
> greater hindrance to movement than it would for an animal that could carry 
> its weight on its limbs (way higher friction quotient).
> Which is not to say that there aren't some large, speedy snakes. Elapids are 
> notoriously speedy and some like the 14ft black mamba (_Dendroaspis 
> polylepis_) are well capable of "outrunning" a man over a fair distance.
> Of course even a large 18ft king cobra (_Ophiophagus hannah_) is a far cry 
> from a boid, in robustness of build.

Ok., boids are slower than most other snakes. It may be partially for
their locomotion, walking by moving scale per scale, instead of the
lateral ondulation of most other, faster caenophidians. But that does
not seem to mean that all movements of the snake will be slow, as you
say in your second message on the velocity of boids to coil around
their foes.

In any case, whatever the result of the "Animal Face-Off" encounter,
displacement of a species by the other need not to follow from the
result of the encounter, but on the relevance of this fact at a
population level. It depends more on the relation of the number of
deaths by a foe or predator when compared to the number of births (the
number of deaths is added to other causes of death), and inmigration
and emigration. Even if the dinosaurs always killed the snakes in a
fight, it should be accounted that the proportion of killings was
sufficient to produce a great diminishment in the populations of the
species to which pertains the loser of the encounter. And knowing
those numbers seems to be near impossible in vertebrate paleontology.