Snake fakes own death to fool predators in Oscar-worthy performance

A snake has been filmed faking its own death in an top Oscar-worthy performance to deter predators.

Phil Brower, 41, encountered the eastern hognose snake while hunting deer near his home in Poolesville, Maryland, USA.

After Phil picked the snake up, the overly-dramatic snake begins to squirm around on its back.

The creature coils its body before laying dead still, showing the underside of its long torso.

Phil picks the snake up, before saying: "He's a big old Hognose, uh oh, he's getting angry."

The snake wriggles around in the air while its mouth hangs wide open.

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Once it's placed back onto the ground, the snake's theatrical performance carries on.

The snake again coils itself up as Phil steps in nearer to the creature to show its tongue sticking out.

Hognose snakes are a species known to play dead when it feels threatened, rolling onto its back with its mouth agape and its tongue lolling.

The snake gets so into character, that even if it’s rolled back onto its belly, it will repeat the act as if to insist that it really is dead.

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Phil said: “Once I began to pick him up, he started to play dead by rolling over.

“When I flipped him right side up he would roll back over onto his back again.

"He was also leaving his mouth open with his tongue hanging out.

“While playing dead they also secrete a musk-like smell and spit up a bit of blood. This guy did both, but it isn't really visible in the video.”

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Then, when Phil picks him up and puts him down again, the snake takes it up a gear and agonises for nearly 50 seconds before falling deathly still.

Mr Brower used to work in the reptile house at the National Zoo in Washington DC, so he knows a thing or two about this species.

“Playing dead is another form of defence for the snake. They usually only do this if they can't escape.

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“The idea is to look dead and smell bad in hopes that whatever is bothering them will go away.”

If Phil was a movie critic, he’d give the snake’s acting a thumbs up.

“I'd say I'm pretty impressed with its acting abilities,” he said. “It certainly throws a lot into the act to try to persuade a would-be predator to go away.

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“I'd give it an eight or nine out of ten on its acting, but don't think it's overdramatic considering they only do it when they feel their life is in danger.”

Heterodon snakes, better known as hognose snakes, have enlarged teeth at the rear of their upper jaws which can inject a mild venom into its prey.

It comes after a snake was filmed eating a frog alive as it let out a bone-chilling scream .

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