WATCH: Snake Eats Crocodile In Australia; Plus See 5 Other Videos Of Snakes Consuming Large Prey
A ten-foot snake believed to be a python devoured a crocodile at Lake Moondarra in Queensland, Australia, on Sunday. To the delight of the internet, the five-hour snake vs. croc battle was captured on camera, thanks to onlooker Tiffany Corlis.
Like Us on Facebook
"It was amazing," Corlis told the BBC. "We saw the snake fighting with the crocodile--it would roll the crocodile around to get a better grip, and coil its body around the crocodile's legs to hold it tight. The fight began in the water--the crocodile was trying to hold its head out of the water at one time, and the snake was constricting it. After the crocodile had died, the snake uncoiled itself, came around to the front, and started to eat the crocodile, face-first."
At about three feet long, the crocodile was not rare prey for a snake, but was somewhat risky, according to Bryan Fry, a snake expert and a professor at the University of Queensland. Pythons in the area generally stick to small animals like rats, which aren't as dangerous as crocs but aren't nearly as hearty either. (The snake won't have to eat for another two months following his victory over the crocodile.) "They can swallow a crocodile, no problem, but it can defend itself, so it's a more risky choice than a rat," said Fry, who added that another risk was that the snake made itself vulnerable to attack by another animal during the five-hour crocodile battle.
A python kills its prey by constricting the unfortunate animal's breathing. It does not squeeze the air out of its prey; rather, when the prey exhales, the python tightens its coils, restricting the prey's breathing until it dies. The process of consuming large prey requires a lot of energy, and a 2012 study suggests that snakes can detect their prey's heartbeat, leading snakes to lessen constriction--and thus conserve energy--after the prey has died. Because python's jaws aren't connected to bone, but to stretchy ligaments, they are able to consume prey 75 to 100 percent their size.
Below, find five other instances of snakes taking on massive prey.
Python Vs. Antelope
Python Vs. Alligator
Python Vs. Deer
Anaconda Vs. Cow
This one is truly horrifying.
Python Vs. Monkey
Snake Vs. Bear
Okay, this one is cheating. But it does show Bear Grylls eating a raw snake, so it's worth watching.
© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.