Although we like to talk about how life is beautiful and should be enjoyed, we must admit that the reality is harsh and it always comes down to the survival of the fittest. And that notion is especially true if you’re not at the top of the food chain.
That’s why many animals adapt different techniques to survive. The chameleon can change its body colour, the knobbly crab spider can disguise itself as a rock and I can run like hell. But the evasive maneuver that the internet’s talking about is that of a bunch of rat-like creatures.
Twitter user @cainebraswell reposted a video of @sonofselassie claiming that it was a bunch of rats pretending to be a snake to avoid predators. And it went viral.
Rats pretending to be a snake to avoid predators pic.twitter.com/cZhQQXYuow
— Caine. (@cainebraswell) January 14, 2019
Twitter found this particular group of critters to very relatable and hence came up with some hilarious reactions.
artists w rich parents pretending to be poor to fit into a diy aesthetic https://t.co/st5PxazZ96
— giabuchi lastrassi (@jaboukie) January 15, 2019
when the polis arrive nd everyone at the gaff tried to get out https://t.co/LePNbXWRlo
— iona🛸 (@ionaxgrant) January 15, 2019
My middle school friends going to the bathroom to shit talk me https://t.co/1JRclE1co0
— Josiph “BlackLives” Matter III🐝 (@SurgeonSims) January 15, 2019
my sensitive ass acting cold to avoid getting my heart broke https://t.co/IRpUclDOeV
— 🌞 (@madileiigh) January 16, 2019
My high ass would leave my body https://t.co/etvYqWLuSw
— 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘥284 (@Prod284) January 14, 2019
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Team work at its finest x https://t.co/KHFG6fnsvX
— s0phs (@s0phieb) January 15, 2019
At first glance, it’s easy to assume that it’s a group of rats mimicking the movements of a snake to scare predators. But on closer inspection, it appears that they’re shrews. Dr. Louise Gentle, a lecturer in wildlife conservation, told Inverse that,
“The young are all following the adult (presumably the mother) in a line, and if they are in contact with each other they will be safer and not get lost.”
So, just so we’re clear, those aren’t rats, but shrews. And the mother shrew and her little ones are partaking in a family behaviour called the caravan.
In a caravan, each shrew bites the tail of the one in front of them and follows their mother in order to better their navigational skills. And since the shrews do so when they’ve lost their latest nesting place, the ones in the viral video might’ve been looking for their new home.
Well, let’s hope that after the video ended, this family of shrews found their home and are living happily ever after.