Pythons are biologically equipped to consume much larger prey than themselves. It is very common to see these big snakes engulf deer, impalas and sometimes even humans. Despite this knowledge, it is always shocking to hear of a python devouring a crocodile. This is exactly what happened to an Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) who had the misfortune to fall into the jaws of an olive python (Liasis olivaceus).
The horrific images were shared on social media by GG Wildlife Rescue Inc., a non-profit organization based in Australia, on May 31st. According to the NGO's Facebook page, the images were taken by kayaker Martin Muller near Mount Isa, Queensland.
Pythons kill their prey by wrapping around it and tightening when the victim exhales. In a few minutes, the prey dies by suffocation or cardiac arrest. Pythons swallow their whole foods through the way their jaws are connected by very flexible ligaments, which can stretch around large prey. Their digestive system and their metabolism are also perfectly adapted to the decomposition of large meals all at once.
To handle the sudden influx of calories, it is known that pythons rapidly increase the size of their internal organs, including the the intestines, the heart and the kidneys.
Pythons feed almost exclusively on mammals, although they may consume reptiles. The unlucky Australian freshwater crocodile seen in these photos illustrated thereby.