Snake Eats 2nd of 2 Pigs, Snake is Unstoppable


A snake's lower jaw is not joined at the front by a rigid symphysis as mammal jaws are, but by an elastic ligament that allows the two halves to spread apart, connected in front by an elastic ligament. Each half of lower jaw moves independently. Quadrate bones at the back of snake's skulls at attachment points to lower jaws, are not rigidly attached. They pivot allowing vertical and horizontal rotation. This allows ingestion of large prey such as this pig. Jaws of snakes do not dislocate. One of the enduring myths of snake feeding mechanisms is that the jaws detach. They stay connected all the time. As seen in the video, the two lower jaws move independently of one another. The quadrate bone is not rigidly attached to the skull, but articulates with the skull at one end and is therefore free moving. Video shows the “transport cycle” to get the pig into the python's belly. Called a pterygoid walk, the python opens its jaw and alternately ratchets its upper jaw over the surface of the meal, in turn “walking” its mouth over and around the prey.

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