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January 22, 2006



Very cool, thanks. I've got three little boys, so predators are a hot topic around here.
There was a news item last fall about a boa which swallowed a croc before it was completely dead. Maybe crocodile brain vessels can survive the overpressure unusually well?


Well, it's not really clear what happened in that case. We know that someone walking through the Everglades found the burst-open carcass of a 13-foot long Burmese python with a 6-foot long American alligator spilling out of its guts. It's not clear whether the alligator was still alive when the snake swallowed it, since both animals were quite dead when they were discovered. It's possible that the 'gator lived long enough to damage the snake's gut, but it's also possible that the snake tackled a meal that was just too big for its stomach.

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  • Diane A. Kelly
    Diane Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studies the neural wiring and mechanical engineering of reproductive systems.
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    Jim Cambias writes science fiction and designs games in the lonely wilderness of Western Massachusetts.