This is a first

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by ronhalling, Apr 19, 2014.

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  1. ronhalling

    ronhalling Very Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2012
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    Port Macquarie NSW
    I thought i had pretty much seen it all until surfing the WWW tonight and came across this article, we are all used to seeing the Anaconda's and African Rock Python photo's where the Croc or Antelope has burst through the stomach of the Python but this is the first time i have seen anything like this :) ...............Ron

    I have added the article as well.

    Researchers on Golem Grad Island, Macedonia, stumbled upon a rather intriguing and
    wholly disgusting find whilst looking for snakes - a dead young viper with the
    head of a huge centipede protruding through its body. What a way to go! The report
    has been briefly described in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina.

    Nose-horned vipers (Vipera ammodytes) are venomous snakes found in southern Europe,
    the Balkans and certain parts of the Middle East. They can grow up to 95 centimeters
    and possess a characteristic “horn” on the snout, hence the name. They’re also
    considered to be the most dangerous European viper because their venom is highly
    toxic, but they’re a pretty docile species that tend to only bite when provoked.

    Adult nose-horned vipers usually feed on lizards, smaller snakes and rabbits on Golem
    Grad, whilst the juveniles eat lizards and a particular species of centipede, the
    Megarian banded centipede (Scolopendra cingulata). It is not uncommon for snakes to
    consume potentially dangerous prey, and there have been numerous reports of death due
    to them “biting off more than they can chew”. Although, as mentioned, these vipers are
    known to eat this particular species of centipede, it seems that this cocky snake may
    have underestimated his dinner this time.

    S. cingulata can be pretty savage killers themselves; they’re opportunistic carnivores
    and will eat almost anything that’s not larger than themselves. The authors of the
    paper note that it’s exceedingly difficult to kill a full-grown Scolopendra. Some
    people even keep these creepy crawlies as pets. Each to their own I suppose.

    The team measured the viper and the centipede; the centipede was found to be 84% of
    the viper’s trunk length, 112% of its body width and 114% of its body weight. This
    isn’t hugely impressive compared to the size of animals that snakes have been found
    to consume previously. But what is interesting/disgusting is that upon dissection,
    the snake was missing all of its visceral organs- the centipede was occupying the
    entire volume of the snake’s body. They think it’s possible that the snake swallowed
    the centipede alive, but the centipede ate its way through the snake in an attempt of
    freedom, bursting its way through the snake’s abdomen (I am going to have nightmares
    now…). But unfortunately the poor little guy didn’t make it and died inside the snake
    with his head poking out. So close… Yet so far…

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  2. Jacknife

    Jacknife Very Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2012
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    Not something you see everyday...
  3. Rlpreston

    Rlpreston Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2013
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    Whittlesea, Vic
    Oh god, those things are terrifying! If there's one animal I dread having to deal with it's centipede!

    We've got one of these guys at work and I flinch every time it moves! [​IMG]
  4. RedFox

    RedFox Very Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2012
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    Cairns, FNQ
    The stuff of nightmares... Pretty interesting though.
  5. critterguy

    critterguy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2014
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    Don't mind pedes, but the E. rubripes I run into are usually only about 13cm and below, not the 20cm or so they can get up to and the other main sp we get are below 13cm, usually only 7-10cm, so not too big.
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