Move over, python — this tiny snake holds the record for swallowing the largest prey whole relative to body size


Snakes are known for gulping down truly gargantuan meals. However, one species of serpent outpaces them all, consuming the largest prey relative to its size of any known snake — and it’s not the python.

Known as the Gans’ egg-eater (Dasypeltis gansi), this skinny, nonvenomous African snake has a gape so big that it can swallow spherical bird eggs whole despite its diminutive size, which tops out at about 40 inches (102 centimeters) in length. Its ability to dine on prey much larger than itself comes from the stretchy skin that connects the snake’s left and right lower jawbones, allowing it to open its maw exceedingly wide, according to a study published Aug. 8 in the Journal of Zoology.


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