Printer Friendly

Gross out? (Activities & Oddities).

Talk about on-the-job headaches! When snake expert Peter Morningstar was called in to remove this 7 kilogram (15.5 pound), 3 meter (10 feet)-long carpet python (Morelia spilota) from a rooftop in Brisbane, Australia, he nearly got his head chewed off. Luckily, this python isn't poisonous--it left Morningstar with just a few small puncture marks on his face.

How did the peeved reptile (backboned animal) flap open its mouth so wide? "Snakes don't chew their food, they swallow it whole," says zoologist (animal scientist) Robert Mason at Oregon State University. "So they don't need powerful jaws that hinge together at the back." Instead, snake jaws boast long, flexible bones (quadrates) attached to stretchy tissue called ligaments. They allow the snake to open its mouth wide to chomp prey. Once a snake clamps down, it uses rows of inwardly slanted teeth to inch its meal back toward its throat.

Contrary to the impression given by this photo, most carpet pythons are fairly mellow: "But this was obviously a feisty one?" says Mason.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Scholastic, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:carpet python and its jaws
Publication:Science World
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 27, 2002
Words:172
Previous Article:To make a pie chart. (Tables, Charts, And Graphs).
Next Article:Science project success guide: designing and conducting experiments. (Lesson Plans).
Topics:


Related Articles
RAW REALITY HITS TV FILMMAKER SPEAKS IN 'FIRST PERSON'.
GARDEN SPLENDOR REWARDS PATIENCE.
THE SCREEN\"Hijacked Flight 285".
"Python & XML". (Book Browser).
VIDEO CHEWING ON 'THE MEANING OF LIFE'.
"Learning Python, Second Edition".
BUSINESS BEAT.
Shortcut to big heart: pythons build cardiac muscle in record time.
HIS TWO DADS SETH MACFARLANE STORMS THE FOX SCHEDULE WITH THE RETURN OF 'FAMILY GUY' AND A BRAND-NEW SERIES.
Stuffed snake.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters