Plants and Animals

Awesome X-Ray Images Show A Python Breaking Down An Alligator

April 18, 2015 | by Danielle Andrew

Last March we covered a video of a snake eating a whole crocodile. But what happened after?

Now, we give you the X-ray images of a python digesting an alligator - you can literally see it being broken down day by day.

Day 1

From left to right, you can see the alligator's skull, torso, limbs and tail, sat snuggly in the snakes abdomen.

Day 2

Although it may look like not much is happening, by day 2 the snake's heart, small intenstine, liver and kidneys have increased anywhere from a third larger to double their size in order to help digest this enormous meal.

Day 3

On day 3, we can start to see the alligator's soft tissue being broken down and digested

Day 4

By increasing their organ size, pythons are able to quickly digest their meals before they rot. By day 4, not much is left but the tough skin and skeleton.

Day 5

Day 6

By the sixth day, nearly the whole of the alligator has been broken down.

Day 7

All gone! That must have been one hungry snake. So there you have it, not only can these incredible creatures swallow a meal bigger than itself, it can break it down and digest it in just 7 days too.

Images courtesy of Dr. Stephen Secor and Dr. Scott White