Python eats porcupine dies: Python Eats Porcupine

Published: June 27, 2015

Python eats porcupine dies: Python Eats Porcupine, A cyclist making a trek through the Lake Eland Game Reserve in South Africa this month came across a rare and bizarre act of nature, with a greedy python eating a whole porcupine.

But the bicyclist didn’t know that at first. The snake, which suffocates its prey and then swallows it whole, was seen only with a giant bulge in its midsection and no indication of what was inside. The biker shared pictures of the python and posted then online, where they got plenty of attention.

While speculation built over what the python could have eaten, park rangers soon found out the truth. The snake was found dead not far from where it was initially spotted, so rangers decided to cut it open and see what it had for a last meal.They found that the python had eaten a whole 30-pound porcupine, which helped to cause its death. Rangers said the snake had fallen from a small ledge, and the impact caused the animal’s sharp quills to impale the inside of the snake, leading to its demise.

From LiveScience, “As [game reserve general manager Jennifer Fuller] noted, pythons in the Lake Eland Game Reserve have been spotted consuming even larger prey, including adult oribi antelope, which can weigh nearly 50 lbs. (22.7 kg). Pythons possess the incredible ability to alter their metabolism, as well as the size of their organs, after a meal. This allows the a python to digest prey that is much larger than the snake is, according to a study published in 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

The story of the python eating the porcupine made headlines last week, and now scientists are shedding more light on the snake’s disastrous final meal.

Johan Marais, a snake expert, told Earth Touch News Network that porcupine is actually a common part of a python’s diet and that the death was unusual.

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