The snake lives mainly on small rodents and mammals that live under the branches of trees. These animals don’t believe that parts of a tree can be their enemy until it is too late. Drivers in Assam are always advised not to drive over sticks lying in the road, as these can be Straight Snakes, who will survive being run over and can creep into the recesses of a car.

Straight snakes have no natural enemies, not even man, and the only reason the snakes don’t breed more than they do, is because both male and female snakes look very similar and have a tendency to stay still if they sense another snake is around. Visitors to Assam, who see two sticks getting intimate in a tree, are asked to leave them to it.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided