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How a River Otter Can Bag an Alligator for Lunch (via National Geographic by Jennifer S. Holland):
We’ve barely recovered from the snake-eats-croc photos, and now this: Photos reveal a river otter in Florida attacking a young alligator, which it then ripped into for lunch.
A cute-faced mammal killing a powerful gator? Wildlife is full of surprises. How common might it be for a river otter to take on such an animal? Otters are voracious predators, close to being apex [top predator] in most places where they live. So anywhere they overlap with gators this would be a pretty common occurrence. Still, this is impressive: That’s not a small alligator, probably three or four years old and five feet [1.5 meters] long. If that’s a male otter it might be 30 pounds. That’s a very bold animal!
How does the otter know to bite the gator behind the head? It’s actually a learned behavior. That otter has probably tried attacking smaller ones and got some bites to learn from. Remember that crocs swing their heads side to side when they fight, so the otter wants to be entirely out of the reptile’s strike zone. Mounted on the gator’s back with teeth into the neck, that’s a smart strategy.
How does the otter actually kill the gator? It doesn’t, not directly. First, that’s a pretty hard animal to bite through. The armor on the back is made to deflect bites from other alligators, so it’s very tough. Where the otter wins is in energy: The otter has sustainable energy, whereas the gator is like a grenade, with explosive energy that doesn’t last long. So the best tactic is to wear the gator out, which only takes a few minutes of thrashing and rolling around. Quite quickly it will be very tired, its muscles filled with lactic acid and no longer functioning. At that point it’s almost like it’s intoxicated, and the otter can then get it up on shore. The gator dies of lactic acid buildup, not from being eaten. It would take a long time to kill it that way.
So the otter eats its prey alive? Yeah, once on shore it will rip off pieces of the hide—otters have very sharp teeth—to get to the guts and meat, the good stuff, inside. A lot of parts will end up scattered around. It’s like a lion’s kill as opposed to a snake’s. If there’s a mated pair or young otters, they’ll get a piece of it, too. It’s a good education for otter pups.
What other big animals might an otter eat? Whatever they can catch and overpower. They are smart, agile, and strong predators. They do eat a lot of amphibians and fish, but they’ll also take out sizeable beavers, raccoons, plus snapping turtles, snakes, and small gators. Of course, gators can also eat otters, so it goes both ways!
Photos from: Geoff Walsh
I wish that I could hug whoever made this.
the last time i reblogged this i got an angry anon.
let’s try this again, shall we?
I one hundred percent agree and all but the last picture is a little bit inaccurate bc it’s the moment the sperm meets the egg, which isnt when people get abortions, they get abortions after that point.
just this guy’s laugh
holy shit i’m crying ngl
That should not have been as funny as it was
OH MY WORD
GRAB THE TARP GRAB IT
Satan approves of TFIOS.
who doesn’t approve of tfios