When a rare snake was identified in the Florida Keys, scientists were able to draw an essential, albeit cruel, lesson from it.
The island chain recently saw the Tantilla oolitica (rim rock crowned snake) for the first time in four years. Sadly, the animal was discovered dead with a big centipede partially in its mouth.
Despite how macabre this ice-bound tug-of-war may sound, experts think it is nonetheless an important finding.
Because the species has only sometimes been observed, experts were unsure of what it actually consumed. The rarest snake in North America is, in reality, T. oolitica.
However, the affinity of the species for enormous centipedes is not entirely unexpected given that other snakes in its family are also known to like to eat the bugs.
A hiker in Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park first spotted the combative animals.