|The tail in question
|Egyptian Giant Solfugid (Galeodes arabs)
Behavioral observations made in 2008 of a live P. urarachnoides captured in western Iran and maintained in captivity confirm these ideas. Closed-circuit video was used to record behavior, and the results published in the Russian Journal of Herpetology by Behzad Fathinia of Razi University and his colleagues. They observed the snake, a juvenile male that regurgitated a Crested Lark, using its caudal lure to attract sparrows and baby chickens that they introduced into its enclosure. When the birds approached and pecked the tail, the snake struck and envenomated the birds, a process taking less than one half second. A bird was also found in the stomach of the paratype specimen, further evidence that this species might feed heavily on birds in the wild with the aid of its spectacular caudal lure. The tail of P. urarachnoides probably represents the most elaborate morphological caudal ornamentation known in any snake, with the possible exception of the sound-producing rattles of rattlesnakes.
Update 1/16/2015: Check out this video of a P. urarachnoides actually caudal luring and catching a bird!
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