How a python can swallow a man whole

A North African Python found in the Florida Everglades .  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Caption
A North African Python found in the Florida Everglades . (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Credit: Joe Raedle

Credit: Joe Raedle

A graphic video of a 23-foot python that swallowed a man whole has people wondering if such a thing is possible.

While human-eating pythons are rare, the feat is not impossible, according to National Geographic.

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“When well executed, a python's powerful squeeze could end blood flow to the heart within seconds,” Scott Boback, a vertebrate ecologist, told National Geographic.

Once any prey is dead, pythons can eat it in one bite because of their flexible jaws, the BBC reported.

>>Read Missing man found dead inside 23-foot python

In the past, pythons have gobbled up crocodiles, alligators, snakes and hyenas, National Geographic reported.

Swallowing humans isn’t quite as easy.

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"The restricting factor is human shoulder blades, because they are not collapsible," Mary-Ruth Low, the Singapore Zoo’s python expert, told the BBC.