Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Great Esssssssscape: Snake eats snake - but then victim slithers back out again

A snake that was swallowed alive by another snake has pulled off what must be one of the greatest escapes in the animal kingdom.

Determined to survive, the would-be snack managed to turn itself around inside the other snake's belly - and slither its way back out to freedom.

At least, that's what Australian Tony Barton claims he witnessed in his garden.

And he snapped these images as proof.

'When you tell these stories, no-one believes you,' said Mr Barton, who lives in the small rural town of Gundagai, south west of Sydney.

'But I have the pictures to prove it.'

The images, he says, show how the toxic red-belly black snake got its fangs around the far more poisonous eastern brown snake and began to swallow it.

It took almost 15 minutes for the 5ft.6in brown snake to disappear down the black snake's throat. The shape of the victim could be seen in the bulge in the body of the attacker.

The black snake, its lunch totally consumed, then slid away, very sluggishly, to a spot of shade 'for a snooze,' said Mr Barton.

A little later Mr Barton decided to have another careful look at the black snake.

What he saw next left him stunned.

'The black snake opened its mouth a little bit and I spotted this beady eye and the head of the brown snake peering out at me from the mouth,' he said.

'So I got my camera ready again and took a picture as the brown snake came out a few inches. Then it fastened itself onto the black snake's lower jaw and pulled itself completely out.

'It was covered in mucus, as you might expect, but seemed to be completely undamaged. Then the two of them parted ways, slithering off into the bush in different directions.

'I must admit that at first I thought someone was playing a practical joke on me because what I'd first noticed was what I thought was a very long snake with two tails - before I realised that one snake was swallowing another.

'There's only one explanation for what happened - having been swallowed head first, the brown snake must have been able to turn itself around inside the other snake's body for it to be able to emerge head first.'

As he admits, his story is going to take some believing.

But he has the photographs - and he hopes they will silence all the critics.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Man that's freaking amazing, it's sweet that he was actually able to witness it too!


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