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πŸ“Έ by @wildland_safaris_botswana

African rock python swallowing an impala whole.

These are the largest snakes in Africa, growing up to 6m (20ft) in length and an average weight of 48kg (106lb). A commonly held belief about the way the snake’s jaw operates was that it was able to unhinge or detach to swallow prey of this size.

We now know that they in fact stay attached to the skull the whole time, but unlike our one-piece human jaw, the snake has a split jaw – two independent mandibles joined together by an elastic ligament that allows them to stretch apart when required.

And it makes swallowing antelope, crocodiles, monkeys, and warthogs a breeze.


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