They say you’re supposed to chew your food before you swallow: an age old piece of advice that this ravenous python appears to have ignored.
These incredible pictures show the moment a large python spent half-an-hour trying to wolf down a kingfisher in one gulp.
If you’ve never seen a python devour its prey before, it’s quite a sight to behold – especially after digestion.
The ravenous snake caught the bird in Kruger National Park, South Africa, when it was hunting for dinner up in the trees.
Attempting to figure out the best way to devour the brightly coloured bird, the reptile constricted the poor bird before positioning its body to ensure the best angle for entry.
Contrary to popular belief that their jaws can dislocate, Pythons instead have extremely elastic jaws which allow them to spread their mouth wide when consuming large prey.
Observing proper table manners, pythons take their time when swallowing food, savouring ever last morsel and slathering it with saliva sauce.
With the bulk of the kingfisher’s body swallowed, the snake compresses its own vertebral column into a series of concertina-like waves to force the bird in its mouth, all in one go.
It may have eyes bigger than its belly, but once the python figured out how to get the bird down its throat, the entire meal was over in seconds.
The pictures were captured by UK photographer David Bough, who spotted the python snake in the tree while on a safari at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park.
He said: “Lake Panic always seems to deliver fantastic viewing opportunities.
“We had been told that there was a python somewhere near the hide and had been there for an hour or so and not seen it, but then we managed to catch a glimpse.
“We watched for about an hour and a half as the young Python worked out the best way to eat such a large snack, folding the head and beak back over the body to enable it to devour the bird.”