– – I love the Warner Bros. Roadrunner cartoons as much as anyone, although I venerate the coyote and like the roadrunner, and if involved would probably negotiate, and try to find Wile E. something else to eat that he might be happy with, maybe order him up a pizza and share a slice with him, canine-to-canine. In reality, however, roadrunners are not tall, skinny birds that can travel in a blur of motion, make “meep-meep” sounds, and defeat Acme-supplied coyote geniuses.
They are, however, tough and resourceful birds who are more likely to be doing the murdering than running from would-be murderers. They are almost exclusively carnivorous, and will eat rattlesnakes, sinking their beaks into the snake and repeatedly smashing it into the ground until the snake is both dead and tenderized in a technique aptly named, the Centrifugal Slam; the snake is then swallowed whole, bit by bit! Roadrunners will also eat tarantula hawks (an insect), horned lizards, and other birds…all in all, a bird who would rather fight than flee!
Just a reminder that cartoons are rarely accurate sources for aspiring ornithologists or zoologists, and an animal’s lethality should not be judged by its appearance!