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Gut and Glut
πŸ“Έ by Winai Suthanthangja

While the vast majority of snakes swallow their prey whole, the small-banded kukri snake (Oligodon fasciolatus) has developed a much more METAL way of dealing with a particular species of poisonous toad – using their teeth, they rip a hole in the toad’s body, pull out the organs and eat them.

This macabre method of feeding has never been observed in a serpent before.

The Asian black-spotted toad secretes a potent toxin from parotid glands in their neck and back when they are threatened. And while the banded kukri has almost certainly built up a resistance to this toxin, it is believed that the adult toads grow too large for the kukri to swallow whole, at least not quickly.

It worth mentioning that the small-banded kukri is a non-venomous snake, so it relies on its ability to ambush and swallow prey quickly before it can escape. In the case of these large toads, the kukri will presumably abmush and create an entry point in the toads abdomen, insert its head into the new created orifice, and prevent the toads escape by holding on to its innards.

According to the study, titled “Eviscerated Alive: Novel and Macabre feeding strategy in Oligodon fasciolatus” these documented attacks would last hours.


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