The Myth of Python Snakes Strangling Prey

It is a myth that pythons suffocate their prey into submission and eventual death as they are technically causing obstructive shock of the circulatory system. This is performed by creating force pressure capable of exceeding the ability of the heart to compress, with this pressure focused tightly within the center of the heart, causing death as a direct result. As soon as pressure is elevated above what the heart utilizes to pump and eject blood throughout the circulatory system, the cardiac system becomes unable to eject blood causing prey to pass out within 10 – 20 seconds, similar in structure to how a headlock cuts off oxygen from the brain and causes a human opponent to pass out. As a python coils, it begins contracting its muscles to generate this tremendous crush pressure, referred to as “circumferential pressure”. To provide frame of reference, circumferential pressure is the type of pressure applied when a saturated cloth is rung out to expel all liquid. The blood pressure of prey typically doubles in stature after being constricted (e.g. moving from 120/80 to 250/160 to 300/200 over the course of 12.5 minutes), enough to cause syncope, a cerebral vascular accident, and death in most mammals. Sphygmomanometers typically exert 140 – 160 millimeters of mercury during a routine blood pressure examination, enough to cause blood perfusion to be cut off during measurement and pain to develop if the duration of the examination is extended for any reason. Python snakes are capable of applying 2x – 3x this rate of pressure, directly upon the neck or thorax of their prey. It is currently unknown if this ability can be increased when required (e.g. emergency situation of an animal escaping etc.)

Feathered Dinosaurs

feathered-dinosaur

Every single feathered dinosaur ever discovered has been identified as a predatory carnivore. It is suspected by paleontologists that the Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers in various areas of its body. Feathers often serve a purpose for birds dependent of their color, and it has been theorized that this was also the case for dinosaurs. Liaoning Province, China is the world capital for feathered dinosaur fossils, with the first ever feathered fossilized dinosaur remains discovered by a farmer by complete accident as he turned the soil of his field before planting crops. It is suspected by experts that due to the increase of species and therefore competition, reptiles were required to become more and more active which inevitably required a higher metabolism. This newer and further evolved metabolism is theorized to have caused some animals to become warm blooded, which is the primary reason feathers were introduced by evolution. Long necked birds tuck their heads under their feathers to minimize heat loss and proof of this occurring tens of millions of years ago is provided by an incredibly detailed fossil of a small dinosaur in this exact pose which was found in 2004 by American palaeontologist Mark Norell, providing for the first time in the study of paleontology, compelling evidence for dinosaurs having had feathers. It has been posited that dinosaurs may have had feathers for warmth during their early years which were then shed throughout adolescence as they moved into their adult life, with the majority of the feathers which fell out being in areas which were not particularly useful in aiding a visual display to potential predators or mates

Vision of Toads

toad-eye

If a toad is put into a tank with dead worms, it will starve to death because it won’t recognize the worms as food. Toads have evolved to only see horizontal lines moving as food. This theory was tested in the 1970’s, when scientists put a toad in a glass jar and had a vertical line pass by to which the toad did nothing, almost as if it has no clue of the line in front of it which looked like a worm standing straight up. Once the line was changed to become horizontal, the toad immediately tried to eat the horizontal line which mimicked a wormlike insect. Toads have a very unsophisticated visual spectrum. They basically think that if whatever they’re looking at appears to be a worm, then chances are it is and that it’s safe to ingest. This visual model is flawed because the toad is easily fooled giving it a disadvantage both in catching prey, and in becoming prey