Cannibalistic Snake Devours Fellow Black-Headed Python Alive

A cannibalistic snake has been photographed devouring one other of the identical species alive.

Nick Inventory, a sanctuary supervisor at nonprofit Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), had been finishing up some checks on a current arson occasion when he got here throughout the weird sight, the nonprofit reported.

The snakes had been noticed on the banks of the Archer River, to the south of the sanctuary. The very first thing he noticed was the pinnacle of the black-headed python—a species native to Australia, simply distinguished by its all black head.

One snake had itself wrapped across the different, and it was solely when Inventory received nearer that he realized it was one other python of the identical species.

“It was a shock at first, however I really feel actually lucky to witness such an occasion,” Inventory stated in a press launch. “I’ve beforehand witnessed black-headed pythons consuming an Jap brown snake and a yellow noticed monitor, nonetheless, this was the primary time I witnessed a black-headed python consuming one other black-headed python.”

Inventory captured a number of images of the sight.

A photograph captured by Inventory exhibits a black-headed python consuming one other smaller snake of the species.
Nick Inventory

The pictures present the black-headed python in the midst of swallowing the smaller snake, which seems to be very a lot nonetheless alive whereas it’s being consumed.

“Fortuitously for me however not-so-fortunately for the python being consumed, it took round quarter-hour from after I first witnessed the preliminary constriction to the python ending its meal and returning to its burrow which was solely about 10 ft away. This gave me loads of time to get a digital camera and doc the occasion,” Inventory stated.

Black-headed pythons, like different python species, are non-venomous, and kill their prey by coiling round it to suffocate it, after which swallowing it complete.

Snake cannibalism isn’t unparalleled. Many bigger snakes could prey on smaller snake species. The identical species of snake consuming one another is much less frequent, however once more, has been reported in earlier circumstances.

Capturing footage or images of the occasion, nonetheless, may be very uncommon.

Python eating snake
A photograph captured by Inventory exhibits a black-headed python consuming one other smaller snake of the species.
Nick Inventory

Helena Stokes, an AWC wildlife ecologist, stated whereas it has been reported in captive environments, to see it within the wild requires quite a lot of luck.

“Though cannibalism has been witnessed on this species in captivity and has been reported within the wild, getting photos or footage of such an occasion within the wild is sort of uncommon and fortunate,” Stokes stated in a press launch.

“Black-headed pythons desire to eat reptiles over mammals and are identified to eat bigger reptiles together with goannas, and even venomous snakes, so I am not shocked that they might eat one other python if the chance arose. By consuming different people, they’re additionally lowering competitors for assets within the space.”

Australia’s snake season is simply starting. That is the time of yr when the climate warms up, and consequently, the cold-blooded animals develop into extra lively.

Though snake sightings reminiscent of this are uncommon, they develop into extra frequent in the course of the summer time months.

Do you have got an animal or nature story to share with Newsweek? Do you have got a query about snakes? Tell us through [email protected].