Snake eating crocodile: Watch this epic fight to the finish (+video)

Snake eating crocodile: A water python took on a freshwater crocodile in a 4-5 hour battle in Australia. The snake won, eating the entire crocodile whole.

By , Staff writer

Tiffany Corlis was having breakfast Sunday down by Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa, Australia, when she spotted an epic battle under way between two reptiles.

A freshwater crocodile was engaged in a fight for his life against a water python.

Mrs. Corlis caught the contest on camera, which nearby canoeists said had been going on for an hour by the time she arrived. She figures the tussle lasted 4 to 5 hours, she told the Brisbane Times

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"Finally, the croc sort of gave in and the snake had uncoiled for a little while and had a brief break and then actually started to consume the crocodile," she said.

Snake expert Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Science, told The Associated Press of Australia that while water pythons usually targeted smaller animals and rodents, small freshwater crocodiles were easy prey.

"Crocs are more dangerous to catch but easier to sneak up on," he said. ‘"The problem is they are risking being injured or killed, so they have to be judicious."

Professor Fry said for a water python to successfully overpower and then devour a small crocodile, a lot more time was required than for smaller animals, which left the pythons vulnerable to attack. Fry said that a meal that size would satisfy the python for a month.

In other reptile research, University of Tennessee researcher Vladimir Dinets says crocodiles can climb trees.

Researchers in the climbing study observed crocodiles in Australia, Africa, and North America. The study documented crocodiles climbing as high as six feet (1.8 meters) off the ground. But Dinets said he received anecdotal reports from people who spend time around crocodiles of the reptiles climbing almost 30 feet (9 meters).

Dinets said crocodiles lack the toe and foot structure that would be expected of a climber. However, smaller and juvenile crocodiles in particular were observed climbing vertically while larger ones tended to climb angled trunks and branches, all of which is a measure of the reptiles' spectacular agility, he said.

"They just go slowly," he said. "Eventually they get there."

The finding was reported in January in Herpetology Notes in collaboration with Adam Britton from Charles Darwin University in Australia and Matthew Shirley from the University of Florida.

The researchers believe the crocodiles climb to keep a lookout on their territory and to warm themselves in the sun. "Likewise, their wary nature suggests that climbing leads to improved site surveillance of potential threats and prey," Dinets told Reuters.

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