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Why was a snake fed a pig on a dinner table? Find out!
This is one of the largest snakes in the world. Burmese pythons grow to be enormous in size.
Video taken on July 29, 2007 of a large Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) swallowing a feeder pig.
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.
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.
Super-sized meals do not intimidate snakes. Unlike a mammalian jaw which is built for chewing (or bite force) a snake's jaws are connected with tendons, ligaments, and hinge joints that gives the snake's skull a gymnast's flexibility.
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.