Mother Nature is brutal.
A tourist in Kenya found themselves in a gory situation recently when they stumbled across a 13-foot-long rock python devouring a 150-pound hyena.
It’s pretty brutal.
According to National Geographic, Dutch web designer Jos Bakker discovered the snake while at the Masai Mara National Reserve, and his tour guide informed local scientists at Fisi Camp, a field site for zoologist Kay Holekamp of the Michigan State University.
Scientists were initially skeptical a python could take on something as big and smart as a hyena, but here were are.
“For the hyena, I would say this rock python had to be perfect,” Kowalski told National Geographic. “If it did not immediately strike and coil the neck-chest region to immobilize the head, the hyena could’ve easily crushed the python’s skull.”
Africa’s largest snake the African rock python (Python sebae) has a long, stout body, patterned with blotches that vary in colour between brown, olive, chestnut and buffy yellow, often joining up in a broad, irregular stripe . The triangular head has many sharp, backwardly curved teeth and is marked on top with a dark brown “spear-head” outlined in buffy yellow . Under the eye is a distinctive triangular marking, known as a subocular mark . Like all pythons, the scales of the African rock python are small and smooth and those around the lips possess heat-sensitive pits, which are used to detect warm-blooded prey, even in the dark . Pythons also possess two functioning lungs, unlike more ‘advanced’ snakes which have only one, and also have small, visible pelvic ‘spurs’, believed to be the vestiges of hind limbs
Rock pythons can grow up to 25 feet long, and weigh as much as 200 pounds. Like all pythons, the African rock python is non-venomous and kills its prey by constriction . After gripping the prey, the snake coils around it, tightening its coils every time the victim breathes out. Death is thought to be caused by cardiac arrest rather than by asphyxiation or crushing . The African rock python feeds on a variety of large rodents, monkeys, antelopes, fruit bats, monitor lizards and even crocodiles in forest areas , and on rats, poultry, dogs and goats in suburban areas. A few cases are also known of this python hunting humans .
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