This wouldn’t be the first time hikers see snakes fighting, and this obviously wouldn’t be the first time we will see snakes attacking themselves and a person is there to record a video. This video that was recorded by citizen scientist, Dawn Kelly, and she was able to create a video many of us wouldn’t mind watching from a safe distance.
But what’s interesting about this particular snake fight isn’t just that Kelly was able to record it safely, it was actually because the two male snakes should not be having a battle. One of the snakes is a copperhead while the other snake is a cottonmouth, so you can see why I said they shouldn’t be wrestling.
According to reports coming from Alabama Auburn University Herpetologist, David Steen, male snakes have been known to fight female snakes using a style called “combat dance,” but nobody has ever recorded a situation where two male snakes fight.
Unlike other animals, snakes do not fight to death; rather, they fight to know who is weaker as the stronger snake will be the one to mate with the female waiting nearby. But if the female snake should be of a different species, the energy and time they spent fighting goes up in flames.
The video didn’t show a female snake or any other snake nearby, so the reason for the fight is not clear, we can’t tell if they were really fighting to impress female snakes that couldn’t be caught on camera, or if they just fought to exercise authority. Reports from some quarters suggest that the snakes could have been fighting over territory, as snakes also have “border disputes.” This is a logical explanation because the two snakes are different species, so they may likely not be fighting over a female, as they don’t have one (female) in common.
For two different species of snakes to fight each other is still a mystery, it’s unheard, and it’s unimaginable. If I would think of something, I might just conclude that either of these snakes has been hybridized, and that could be the link between them, and obviously the reason they are able to fight.