Python’s extreme eating abilities have an evolutionary history to match

The first complete sequence of any snake genome reveals that Burmese pythons evolved rapidly to be able to eat prey as big as their own bodies.

The python’s amazing eating abilities derive from the genetic capacity to alter its metabolism and the size of its organs after a meal, according to a new study published Dec. 2. Some organs more than double in size in the two days after a python, which averages about 12 feet (3.7 meters) long, eats.

Eating isn’t the only extreme snakes have gone to in their evolutionary history. To become the long, slithering creatures they are today, snakes have lost their limbs, reduced one of their lungs, elongated their skeletons and organs, developed a hinged jaw, and in many cases, evolved a toxic brew of venoms.

Read the full, original story here: Python’s Extreme Eating Abilities Explained

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