A bloated 13ft African rock python ate itself to death after its innards were punctured with dozens of quills from the spiky 2st rodent.
The gruesome scene was discovered by a mountain biker, lying next to a cycle track at Lake Eland Game Reserve, near Port Shepstone, South Africa.
According to Yahoo, Reserve managers found it python dead beneath a rocky ledge, where it had been trying to digest its final meal.
Reserve general manager Jennifer Fuller said: “The exact reasons for the snake’s death are not clear.
“It is apparent that several porcupine quills were lodged inside the digestive tract. “It had fallen off the rocky ledge.
“We don’t know if it died beforehand, or whether the fall drove some of the quills into its digestive tract.”
Some predators will see the quills and know that it’s not a meal. Many snake species rely on thermal or chemical sensory mechanisms to ambush prey at night.
In the 2003 study, entitled “Prickly food: snakes preying upon porcupines,” researchers found that when a snake eats a porcupine, the animal’s quills are left undigested and are easily detectable in the snake’s gut. Sometimes, the quills will even pierce all the way through the snake’s body, according to the study. But there’s no word yet on whether this particular snake died because it was pierced by quills or because it fell off a ledge (or because it was pierced by quills as a result of falling off the ledge), Fuller told the Australian news website News.com.
below is a rather NSFW video, largely due to one image, of the incident. Of course, not of the actual eating. Come on… that’d just be weird.