Gross out? (Activities & Oddities).
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.
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|Title Annotation:||carpet python and its jaws|
|Date:||Sep 27, 2002|
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