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African Rock Python tries to Enter Home--Eats Rabbit Instead (Time Lapse X5)

Dislike0 Published on11 May 2018

Large hungry snake escaped. Distracted by eating a rabbit instead of entering house.

Video was filmed on April 29, 2016 of an African rock python (Python sebae) taking a feeder rabbit.

Video is part of a body of work that focuses on the science of reptile behavior that supported a master's thesis in zoology. Currently working on PhD in reptile venom research.

Points in video:
Jaws of snakes do not dislocate. One of the enduring myths of snakes is that the jaws detach from the skull. They stay connected. However, as seen in the video, the two lower jaws move independently of one another.

Seen in video, unlike mammalian jaws which are built for chewing, a snake's jaws are connected with tendons, ligaments, and hinge joints that gives their skulls a gymnast's flexibility.

Jaws of snakes do not dislocate. One of the enduring myths of snakes is that the jaws detach from the skull. They stay connected. However, as seen in the video, the two lower jaws move independently of one another.

A snake's lower jaw is not joined at the front (like mammal jaws), but by an elastic ligament that allows the two halves to spread apart (connected by an elastic ligament) at the front. Each lower jaw moves independently. Jaws are always attached to the skull.

Quadrate bones at the back of snake's skulls (at attachment points to lower jaw) are not rigidly attached. They pivot allowing vertical and horizontal rotation; this allows ingestion of large prey such as this pig.

Lastly, a pterygoid bone (plate) in the roof of a snake's mouth has an "inner row" of teeth. This plate with the attached teeth move separately from the jaws to help "walk" their teeth over food and down the throat.

Close up sections of video shows the “transport cycle” also called a pterygoid walk: the python opens its jaw and alternately ratchets its upper jaw(two rows of teeth) over the surface of its prey, in turn “walking” its mouth over and around the meal.

This video focuses on the science of snake feeding behavior to support a master's thesis.

Filmed with the University of Guadalajara for Biological and Agricultural Sciences, the division of Biological and Environmental Science Division, at the department of Botany and Zoology.