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Yep, it's another predator question. I know lots of animals eat fish, but the Snapper is a different breed of deadly animal, a ferocious, amphibious pirahna with dagger-hard teeth and the ability to straight-up eat a much larger animal despite their size. (Imagine the typical American bullfrog jumping into your face, engulfing your head, and then proceeding to grow as they engulf the rest of you. That's a Snapper.)

Besides that, Snappers have the ferocity of a wolverine (the animal, not the OP superhero) and generally react to being eaten by eating their way out of the offender and proceeding to attack and devour them. Because of this, obviously it's gonna take a different breed of predator to prey on Snappers. By the way, Snappers start out the size of an American bullfrog but grow to the size of a Oceanic Whitetip shark and are ovoviviparous.

However, I'm having a hard time evaluating potential Snapper predators. My current candidates would be:

  1. Octopi-Based on my last Plop question, where an amphibious octopus looked to be the prime candidate as a Plop predator. The Snapper's enchantment, Amphibiousness, would allow them to live on land just as well as it would underwater, making them ideal predators for Plop and Snappers.

  2. Water Scorpions-These vicious bugs can get quite large and eat prey much larger than their unusual sizes, like small fish. Snappers would be just another meal in these fiend's eternal buffet. Seriously, check out this article for more on these fiendish critters! They're terrifying!

  3. Pythons-Constrictors, especially the green anaconda, would be great predators of Snappers. Number one, regular pythons are known by starting their attack with a powerful bite, which stuns the prey and can make smaller prey's eyes literally pop in gruesome fashion. Second, anacondas are good swimmers and like all constrictors, crush and/or suffocate their prey before swallowing it whole, headfirst. A Snapper shouldn't have a chance against those powerful muscles, and even if they somehow retain consciousness after being eaten, they won't be able to open their jaws inside the thing!

  4. Hippo/crocs: No, don't say "the croc makes sense, but why oh why did you put the sweet, innocent hippo on the list?" Hippos are aggressive, territorial BEASTS that would likely evolve into formidable Snapper predators and become just as capable on land as they are in water, if this is any indication. However, crocs don't really need evolution, they'd make great Snapper predators all on their own.

  5. Gar/jaguar: Jaguars are tough, clever cats with an insanely powerful bite, one that should be able to kill a Snapper outright. Gars are predators with razor-sharp teeth, which should allow them to easily mutilate Snappers (and therefore consume them safely). However, I did some research, and gar aren't exactly as aggressive as I'd want a Snapper predator to be, and while Snappers certainly are small fish (which gar eat), they are probably too aggressive and numerous for gar to survive against them....

  6. Bobbit worms-Terrifying marine worms with razor-sharp jaws, renowned for the speed and power of their attacks. They're capable of snapping a fish in two with their powerful bite, and if the prey somehow survives the initial bite, it is pulled into the worm's burrow and likely injected with some sort of killing or neutralizing (perhaps even narcotizing) agent so it stops struggling and can be eaten peacefully. The only problem is, if bobbit worms become successful Snapper predators, then they can live on land and start terrorizing other monsters, potentially becoming monsters themselves....

  7. Mantis Shrimp-Look them up, their punches are lightning-fast and renowned for their destructive power. The sheer power they are capable of can definitely one-shot a Snapper, which won't even have a chance to fight back. And after they move on land, they can answer this question!

  8. Water Plop-Plop don't drown underwater, so it makes sense a more aquatic variant would evolve to live in water and then subsequently evolve to take advantage of all the numerous, delicious, and potentially predatory Snappers. I'm not sure how well evolution can aid a rubbery sea slug, though....this may be a non-starter.

  9. Jellyfish-Jellyfish have fast-acting stingers, which neutralize prey, so a Snapper's jaws and aggressiveness is a non-issue for them. However, if they become successful Snapper predators, the result would be Amphibious jellyfish drifting through the sky and the sea, eating whatever their deadly tentacles ensnare....

  10. Dolphins/whales-I really only wanted to include whales because Amphibious whales, floating and swimming through the air, would be really cool. Even baleen whales often swallow fish, right? They should eat plenty of Snappers, albeit accidentally, during their lifetime. They’re also dolphins, which love to eat fish and would probably prove a very effective Snapper predator (not to mention cool mount).

  11. Humans/mermaids-Two really good candidates for the list are humans and merpeople. Humans overcome just about everything using sheer intelligence alone, and Snappers will likely become a source of free protein for them. With their jaws tied shut with seaweed, they can't bite and can only thrash about as one attempts to swallow them. And if someone puts them in their mug of beer, they will soon fall into an intoxicated stupor and become a perfect(ly sick) party dish.

Besides, for the mermaids, it's either eat the Snappers or be eaten by them, and they'd much prefer the latter. (Unless they're dying; dying mermaids prefer to find a Snapper and let it eat them so then their loved ones can eat that much larger Snapper, for some weird reason). It's so much easier to socialize with adventurers and so forth when one is Amphibious, and after accumulating enough Amphibiousness, they can easily swim through (and float in) air just like they do in water. It's perfect for them!

  1. Birds/sharks-Two obvious predators of fish, not sure how good they'd be. Birds that eat fish (like seagulls) would eat Snappers often just because they're convenient and edible, but their aggression and jumping ability, not to mention their size , would make them difficult prey. Sharks would be great Snapper predators, but then I'd have to deal with their new Amphibiousness.

However, I'm having trouble deciding on just what would be the ideal Snapper predator. So, my question is What Would Serve As The Best Predator (Or Predators) For Snappers?

Specifications For Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will analyze and account for the effects of Amphibiousness on a predator to determine if it would render it effective or not. Remember, if a predator is a water creature and suddenly can live on land, its options will suddenly expand and it may not eat Snappers as often as it once did, finding other animals more attractive prey. Note: The Amphibious enchantment essentially makes an animal move through water as fast as it would in air, while allowing it to float or swim as normal. If a creature eats multiple Snappers, it will eventually become capable of living in air just as well as it would in water, essentially making air and water the same for that critter.

  2. The best answer will also cover which of these predators (or set of predators) would be the most effective Snapper predator (or predators), or whether they could (and would) evolve to be effective against Snappers.

  3. Finally, the next answer will account for whether the best candidate would become a significant threat to humanity, enough to make me seriously consider or need to post another How To Protect Medieval Villagers Against (insert Snapper predator here) question.

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  • $\begingroup$ seems like a ranged weapon or a venom/toxin would be best. also, have you considered ants? they can hunt virtually anything in large enough colonies, and are up as one of the smartest families of species in earth's history. they've been able to hunt almost everything (or at the very least scavenge) and are very adaptable, so there's a good chance they could evolve to hunt snappers. $\endgroup$ – zackit Apr 5 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @zackit: Yes, but aren't Snappers amphibious? I know there are amphibious insects, but that trait is extremely rare...... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 5 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ actually there are a few species of ants that can swim (eg fire ants) and besides it doesnt have to be a constant threat, just one of multiple possible predators. $\endgroup$ – zackit Apr 5 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ A few comments... "generally react to being eaten by eating their way out" Don't most animals make sure their food is dead before eating it? And, for that matter, don't most animals not eat their prey whole? I feel like you left off one of the most obvious aquatic animals from your list: sharks. Any particular reason why? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 5 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre: thank you, I forgot that little detail! I feel like I knew it but didn't really think about it, you know? As for sharks, that's easy: if they max out the Amphibiousness enchantments, they'll be able to swim through air like it's water, allowing them to terrorize land animals like humans. I kind of want to avoid that. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 5 at 16:33
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You don't need large predators

Introducing the Salt Water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)

enter image description here

Salties which have been recorded as growing to length exceeding 6 meters are highly efficient apex predators and dominate their particular environmental niche (or at least they used to).

The point is as adults they have few natural predators. Oh, the males are highly territorial and will try to kill/drive off other males who enter those territories but as adults, they pretty much have no predators - except other crocs while small. And the same is true of most Apex predators in any environment - only other members of their own species are a threat once they are fully grown. Now you could make salties (or a fresh water version of them) your 'go to' predator for your 'Snappers' but the thing is you don't need to.

This is because, using crocs as a template predation occurs almost totally during the egg to juvenile stage of development. As a result most salties never reach maturity with something like 99% of all juvenile crocs being killed off. So in this case any garden variety predator able to eat juvenile snappers' will do the trick, snakes and reptiles, larger fish, birds of prey, otters, cats, raccoons in fact any small to medium sized mammal will suffice. Add in the fact that (like crocs) adult snappers aren't adverse to snacking on smaller juveniles plus the odd bad breeding season (e.g. poor weather or some such) and a disease or two? Your population is reduced without the need for another, bigger apex 'monster'.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for mentioning cats. They've got the fast reflexes to swat them out of the air and then batter the snappers with their paws until they're weakened enough that the cat can chomp on its neck and kill it. That's how they kill things that can potentially harm them like snakes, after all. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Apr 6 at 4:38
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Fast Aquatic Ambush Predators

Snappers are fast ambush predators that can eat literally anything. They are, however, very small, and are thus vulnerable to other fast ambush predators.

Since they spawn in the water, the best predator is going to be at least semi-aquatic.

As you repeatedly mention them jumping and latching onto heads to begin eating their prey, I think it makes sense that they have an instinctual urge to hunt by attacking a creature's head, so whatever creature is their primary predator will need some kind of defense against such attacks.

To keep the population in check, your primary predator would have to be a larger predator or one that reproduces at a similar rate.

From your list, my first thought is the majestic Croc, but they are extremely vulnerable to having their jaws closed and would be helpless if a snapper attacks them first. The same goes for a python, who would have little chance of escaping once a snapper latches onto them.

My money, then, is on the mighty Hippo. Hippos are not only vicious when threatened (or just plain hungry), they are HUGE durable creatures that would be difficult for a snapper (or even a swarm of snappers) to consume. Their jaws also lack the muscle flaws in crocodiles and pythons which would make them extremely vulnerable to snapper attacks. Whereas a croc or python wouldn't be able to open its mouth after being swallowed, a hippo should be plenty strong enough to break the grip of the snapper with only its jaws and then suck it up like a candy.

If any of the predators on your list get the drop on a snapper, the snapper will surely die. I would say that only the Hippo stands better than even odds of surviving being ambushed by a snapper. A snapper might latch onto the Hippo and start trying to eat it, but the Hippo is big and durable enough that it would probably survive long enough to crush the snapper and treat itself to a well-earned snack.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, so I made good choices but Snapper ambush is a real and considerable threat here. Hippos are thus a really good choice. However, if a Snapper attacks the right spot, the hippo may not be able to get it off, let alone take it down.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 5 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ You could give them a natural compulsion to attack the head of their prey (which would make a lot of sense all things considering), and that would probably give hippos more of an advantage instead of less. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Apr 5 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ All things considered, I don't see hippos becoming a viable Snapper predator. They're too big, while Snappers are too fast, numerous, and aggressive. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 12 at 23:39
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Mowhawk Fish enter image description here

The main predator is a fish with poisonous spines. When the snapper attempts to snap the fish, he raises his spines which (a) interrupts the snap and (b) injects venom. The snapper dies shortly after this and the mowhawk fish eats the corpse.

Review of your Ideas:

Since the snapper can magically enlarge to fit anything in its mouth, the predator needs to be able to quickly disable it, and only eat the snapper after it is dead. Ambush, superior size/strength and venom are good ideas.

Many of your predators have vastly different habitats. Consider where snappers can be found.

Octopus -- they tend to stick to the ocean floor and attack by ambush. Only works if the snappers live there too. Ambush the snapper, wrap it up to prevent it eating you, and then eat it until it dies.

Water Scorpions (extinct) -- again they spend most of their time on the ocean floor. Poison and ambush is good. Sting and or hold in pincers until it dies.

Pythons -- mostly live in fresh water rivers. Ambushing from a murky riverbed would work. You are much bigger than a snapper so try to kill with the initial strike.

Croc: Similar to python

Hippo: Lives in African Savannah. Only eats grass so wouldn't work as a "predator". Also doesn't know how to ambush since it only eats grass. Good at killing big things like lions and crocodiles. Less talented at killing small things like fish that sneak up on you from below, swallow your leg, and then the rest of you.

Gar: Replace with "any large fast fish that can kill the snapper with its bite"

Jaguar: Lives in the South American jungle. Generally only eat big things. Again dependent on where snappers live.

Bobbit worms: Similar to octupus. Bonus points for being able to retreat underground and become un-swallowable.

Mantis Shrimp: Quite small and stays near the ocean floor. Strike range is very short. Typically eats crabs rather than fish (I think).

Jellyfish: Could certainly kill a snapper but, correct me if I'm wrong, they typically only eat small things.

Dolphins and Toothed whales: See "gar"

Baleen Whales: Wouldn't the snapper just eat its way out of the whale?

Humans: Fishing from a boat makes you safe from swallowing. The best time to catch a snapper is after it has swallowed something much larger than itself. Then they float to the surface and go asleep for a few days and can be killed with spears.

Mermaids: I suggest a large decoy fish that the snapper swallows whole. While it is bloated and sleepy you stab it in the head and repeat.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a thorough, complete, and comprehensive answer, thank you! This clearly states what could take down a Snapper and why, and it is very helpful! However, Mon's answer is a whole lot easier on logistics so I am accepting it. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 12 at 23:42
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Pistol Shrimp: Related to Mantis Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp have an unusual hunting mechanism. They snap and their prey dies. Unlike Thanos, the prey doesn't turn to dust but rather is killed by the shockwave produced by the snap collapsing an air bubble. The resulting shockwave achieves speeds of 100 mph, which is fatal to most small fish in the water, instantly killing them. The sound produced is so loud that the pistol shrimp is in a competitive running with the much larger blue whales for loudest natural sound produced by an animal. It could easily down your "Snapper" before it could eat the shrimp or know it was around.

It's the predator that snaps back.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, I especially like the conclusion! However, what makes the Pistol Shrimp better than every other option? Can it keep the Snapper's large numbers down enough to balance the ecology all on it's own? Will it even keep preying on Snappers after it becomes capable of living on land? Please address these if you want your question accepted. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 5 at 14:59
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    $\begingroup$ The pistol shrimp bubble-compression thingy is only effective at extremely short range. $\endgroup$ – Daron Apr 5 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ The bubble-thingy only works underwater. $\endgroup$ – Daron Apr 5 at 16:44
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Illustration: cone snail eating a fish.

enter image description here

This sort of snail is quite nasty.

First, it has a snapper-proof thick spiky armoured shell.

It also has a long tentacle with a venomous spear at the tip to catch and kill any fish which would be taking a nap on the bottom of the pond while digesting.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point, the cone snail alone would be a nasty predator for Snappers. However, I have to ask, would these become a major threat to humanity, if not land animals in general? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 6 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ It's a snail, so it's pretty easy to run or swim away from it. So it is only dangerous for creatures that are immobile, or if you mess with it it will stab you. It's quite dangerous for divers because the shells are really pretty, so it's tempting to mess with it. If your Snapper engulfs a very large prey it will probably not be very mobile and need to take a long digestive nap, so at this time it would be quite vulnerable to all sorts of predators, including this one. $\endgroup$ – bobflux Apr 6 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ I see, thank you! So almost anything would be safe from it, as long as they weren't stuck. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 6 at 15:37

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