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 Post subject: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 5:26 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
This brings a whole new dimension to the term "morbidly obese". I found this Taiwan Habu baby in a ditch this morning, still so full from last night's supper that it hadn't managed to repair to a resting place before sunrise.

Compare the third picture with the second, and you can clearly see that the snake's bending its body in that particular spot is probably not a good idea, as whatever is inside then starts poking through the skin.

I wonder what the meal was? Judging from the shape, I would rule out a frog...but are lizard tails hard and stiff enough not to bend along with the body?

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:00 am 
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Joined: June 13th, 2010, 5:06 pm
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is it possible it ate a roadkilled something-or-other, which would account for the rigidity in whatever appendage is poking the skin?


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:04 am 
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Joined: April 11th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Awesome pictures!! Wish we knew for sure what he ate.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:51 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:32 am
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I would suspect that the prey item probably was a long-legged kind of frog. Once the legs of frogs are extended, they will form quite long, thin packages/bulges. Long legs would certainly explain the protrusion through the skin a long way forward from the main part of the bulge.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 7:35 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:05 am
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I agree - frog looks right.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 10:04 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:24 pm
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Location: Sweden
Maybe a long legged bird, the bulge is not very thick on the snakes mid body, then a thin birdleg with its bony foot/claw poking the skin from inside.
I dont know for sure, but a frog should create a thicker bulge on snakes mid body, and frogfeet seem more soft and shouldnt create that kind of bulge on the snakes throat.
Just a guess, but nice picture anyhow!


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 5:33 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks for your thoughts, y'all! The main prey in this ditch are frogs at night and Indian Forest Skinks (Sphenomorphus indicus) during the day. Since the habu is nocturnal, I've now made an about-face and adopted the frog theory.

But maybe it was two frogs? Taking a closer look at the third photo now, I realize that there are two bulges in the snake's body.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:23 pm 
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hmmm....its been my observation that when snakes eat frogs they eat them feet first. Although this tactic is employed by non-venomous snakes to get the legs under control and prevent escape, a venomous snake would not need to worry about prey escaping and might consume frogs head first. I dont know.

It does seem as though the snake might have more than one prey item in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:30 pm 
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spinifer wrote:
hmmm....its been my observation that when snakes eat frogs they eat them feet first.

Now that you say it....that's what I've been observing with my captive Ptyas dhumnades, too. Makes for an eerie "double face" when the last bit of the frog is about to disappear down the hatch.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 28th, 2011, 6:57 pm 
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In the over 200 Trimersurus (sensu latu) that I dissected at various museums, over 60% that had frogs in their belly (whose direction could be inferred -- about 24 snakes in total), had eaten the frogs head first. Protobothrops mucrosquamatus from China were part of that sample which were dissected. That's not to say that this one isn't an exception though.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 29th, 2011, 4:34 am 
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Joined: March 4th, 2011, 12:45 pm
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Location: HD, Germany
Interesting pics. It's really hard to speculate what the snake might have eaten. I recognized the two bulges, too. Grass Snakes start to eat frogs with their legs first, too. They often start with one leg of the frog and then the rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 29th, 2011, 6:17 pm 
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Thank you!
Blue Smaggie wrote:
Grass Snakes start to eat frogs with their legs first, too. They often start with one leg of the frog and then the rest.

As hard as it is, I will refrain from indulging in francophobe wisecracks now :mrgreen:

But seriously - how do they eat the legs in succession? Gobble one up, starting from the toes, then, when it's arrived at the pelvis....then what? The other leg folds up and goes down the snake's throat, parallel to the frog's body?

I must admit that I always chuck the frogs for my Ptyas into his tank late at night, right after I've returned from frogging, and the following morning I only get to see the aftermath.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 29th, 2011, 11:37 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:06 am
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Grass snakes don't always eat legs first - I think it depends where they first grab the frog, and also the size of that prey item:

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I'd agree that the pitviper has eaten a long-legged tree frog - you can even see the bulge from its muscular thighs :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 30th, 2011, 12:58 am 
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Tom wrote:
Grass snakes don't always eat legs first - I think it depends where they first grab the frog, and also the size of that prey item.


I do actually agree with it. As there are no statistics on grabbing behavior I might assume that grabbing a frog that is basking in the sun from behind is easiest, because the frog won't spot the snake that easy. How easy would it be for a frog bitten into the head to use its front legs to get rid of the snake? I have never observed a situation like this.

Grass snake eating a R. arvalis. Unfortunately the frog was released by the people filming it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF5S3yIW ... re=related

That website also has some more pictures of a grass snake eating a R. temporaria:
http://www.jonas-familie.de/hobby/garte ... natter.htm

Just some random pics from browsing google:

Grass snake eating a brown frog specimen:
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Grass snake eating a brown frog specimen:
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It looks like it is eating a fuscus:
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Eating a water frog:
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One pic where a waterfrog was eaten head-first.
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Eating a common toad.
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I think when a frog or toad is grabbed from behind or at just one hind leg and that one leg is swallowed first, it might help that the other hind leg can be easily bend like this. Maybe that also helps to understand how anuran prey can be eaten.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 30th, 2011, 5:57 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:30 am
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Location: Clifton, Arizona
Certainly it's a Taiwanese fisherman and his boat. Happens all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 30th, 2011, 9:01 am 
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Location: Boerne, Tx
One thing to consider which I might be just crazy for seeing is that it looks like there may be a small wound on the right side of the neck, or that may be just a weird pattern thing I don't know ( I don't think Hans was to interrested in getting a macro shot of the snakes neck).
I may be seeing things but if a wound it could have been from prey, IDK.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 30th, 2011, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks for all your input! That's certainly more than I had dared to hope for! Sandra, thank you in particular for your pictorial reseach!

Saunders, there was indeed a wound on the neck. I remember trying to keep it from getting into the picture :-)

reptilist wrote:
Certainly it's a Taiwanese fisherman and his boat. Happens all the time.

Yeah, from one of those pygmy tribes. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously Overfed Taiwan Pitviper Baby
PostPosted: April 30th, 2011, 11:31 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:32 am
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Could it have eaten a wire coathanger? ;)

And, as a more constructive contribution:
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