Epic Battle Between King Cobra And Python Leaves Both Dead
Everyone loves snakes, right? Cute, adorable creatures that are in no way terrifying. Anyway, a picture has been unearthed of two of the baddest serpents of them all, tangled together after a fatal battle that left both of them dead.
The photo, below, shows the aftermath of a fight between a king cobra and a reticulated python, where the cobra was able to poison the python, only to be crushed to death by its equally dangerous foe.
The cobra had been bitten behind its head and succumbed to the cobra's deadly venom, but not before the python, in an attempt to defend itself, had squeezed its attacker to death.
Talking to National Geographic, Coleman Sheehy of the Florida Museum Of Natural History said: "It's crazy, but it's something I could easily see happening...it's a dangerous world out there, to eat other big snakes and things that could kill you."
The fierce, deadly battle seems to have occurred somewhere in Southeast Asia, which is where the two snake species overlap.
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For now, the identity of the photographer remains anonymous, though with the amount of interest the picture is generating, it probably won't stay that way for long.
The photograph perfectly illustrates the different ways the two snakes operate. The king cobra has a venomous bite, and after killing its victims with its deadly toxins often swallows them whole.
Reticulated pythons, on the other hand, are among the longest snakes in the world and use their bodies to wrap themselves around their prey, killing them by cutting off their circulation and limiting blood flow to vital organs.
Neither are particularly pleasant ways to go, to say the least, but for both to be simultaneously successful is an incredibly rare occurrence - this is, in fact, the first time it's ever been documented.
Of course, some people are questioning the veracity of the photograph, but, according to experts, it doesn't appear to have been faked in any way.
"It looks real, it doesn't look Photoshopped or anything," says Frank Burbrink of the American Museum of Natural History. "This is a weird encounter, but a lot of stuff that happens with snakes is never easily seen."
Featured Image Credit: PA / Bernard DUPONT (Creative Commons)