A new set of photos released by a wildlife rescue center in Western Australia shows a python incredibly eating a freshwater crocodile whole. The collection of images detail the drama from start to finish, with the outline of the croc evident inside its predator’s body.
The images come courtesy of non-profit GG Wildlife Rescue Inc., based in WA, and were taken near Mount Isa, Queensland, by kayaker Martin Muller. The olive python (Liasis olivaceus) is seen stretching its mouth around the entirety of the Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni).
Pythons are well known for being ambitious when it comes to meal time. Other incidents recorded in Australia have seen them eat deer larger than themselves, impalas, prickly porcupines, alligators, and on occasion even humans.
The olive python, native to Australia, can grow to up to 13 feet (4 meters) long, and clashes between the species and freshwater crocodiles are common. In another reported case from 2014, an olive python was filmed eating a crocodile over a period of five hours, with the snake slowly stretching its jaws around the constricted croc.
As for the technicalities, it’s thanks to their elastic jaws that these reptiles are able to accommodate such large meals. With their prey subdued, they compress their muscles while using their jaws to hang onto it. Some species can even increase the size of their internal organs to handle the influx of calories. Probably best to use a telephoto lens when photographing these bad boys!