Snakes: The predator
Snakes are predators with prey being seized with their mouths. In boas and pythons they swiftly coil themselves around the body of the prey and suffocate it. With the backward pointing teeth the snake engages onto the prey and the snake draws it into the mouth by using the loosely connected lower jaw. Other snakes deliver venom via specially modified teeth to kill the prey before ingesting it. In back-fanged snakes a poison gland lies above the teeth and the venom trickles down a groove in the tooth. The snake therefore has to drive its fangs deep into the prey before it is able to deliver its venom. Other snakes have their fangs placed in the front of the upper jaw and have an enclosed canal through which the venom is delivered. Cobras (Naja) and mambas (Dendroaspis) have short immobile fangs which inject the venom, whereas vipers have long fangs which are kept hinged back and are rotated forward when it attacks it prey. Still other snakes spit poison into the eyes of it prey.