If you have ever felt bloated after eating too much, you will have a lot of sympathy for this rock python! It has caught a gazelle and proceeds to swallow the large animal whole despite it being many times wider than the snake. The result is truly eye watering!
Incredible Eating Challenge!
The first challenge is the head. It looks a physical impossibility for the antlers to enter inside the python’s mouth because they are at 90 degrees to the gazelle’s skull. And yet, with a few alterations of the angle of the head, it is eased inside the snake’s mouth.
The footage fast forwards to a scene when the python has eaten the entire gazelle and is making its way across a shallow part of the river. At first glance, it looks exactly like an alligator, its body is so distended. However when you look closely, you can see the distinctive markings and identify this incredible animal as a rock python. It does appear to be struggling to move its bloated body across the rocks and gets a bit stuck at one point. But with a series of tiny movements, it manages to continue forward very slowly. This is an amazing achievement considering how heavy a gazelle is and it shows the power of the python’s muscles. Not to mention their determination! In the deeper part of the river, the weight is supported partly by the water and the snake can move with less effort.
Python’s Diet and Feeding
The rock python is the largest snake found in Africa and has been known to weigh over 200 pounds. They like to live on open savannas and moist evergreen forests and as we see in this footage, they are comfortable moving around in freshwater. The name, rock python, is associated with their most common habitat which is near rocky outcrops.
They like to eat mammals, such as antelopes, warthogs and bats but will also eat lizards and fish. There are reports of them eating pet dogs and cats and livestock too. However, they are very vulnerable when they are in this engorged state and only eat about once a fortnight. It can take this long for them to digest such a huge meal!
As the prey is digested, it puts a huge strain on the snake’s body. Their organs swell and their metabolic rate increases. Having watched this, you may never order a super-size meal again!
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