This Snake's Last Meal Tried To Eat Its Way Out

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A Serbian biologist recently stumbled upon a rather disturbing sight, one that took her a few moments to process: A young viper snake had swallowed a centipede practically its own size — but it proved to be a meal that wasn't quite ready to give up.

The find was made by herpetologist Ljiljana Tomovic back on May 14th, 2013. In her follow-up report she wrote: "[T]he young snake gravely underestimated the size and strength of the centipede," adding that "[W]e cannot dismiss the possibility that the snake had swallowed the centipede alive, and that, paradoxically, the prey has eaten its way through the snake, almost reaching its freedom."


While conducting the dissection, Tomovic noticed that the snake's bones and gut had been consumed by the centipede. The bug was essentially wearing the snake like a cloak.

"We found that only the snake's body wall remained — the entire volume of its body was occupied by the centipede," she wrote.


Yikes, who knew centipedes could be so ferocious? On the other hand, those silly snakes, always trying to eat unreasonably large meals.


You can read Tomovic's entire report here (pdf).

Images: Dragan Arsovski via NBC & Arsovski, Tomovic et al.

[Via NBC]