Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Common Egg Eating Snake

Dasypeltis scabra
The Common Egg Eating Snake is one of six interesting non-venomous species that consumes only bird eggs. This particular snake is found in sub-Saharan Africa, living typically in grassland habitats... though they are also common in urban areas.

But let's talk about their eating habits! These snakes are able to consume eggs that are three times the size of their heads. Before swallowing they will first test out the egg with their tongue, making sure that it is not rotten. They also aren't huge fans of fertilized and developing eggs.

If the egg passes the inspection the snake will then wrap its body around it, in order to hold it in place. It then places its mouth over the thinner end of the eggs, using its amazing jaw to take the entire thing in. The snakes then use specialized bony projections to puncture the egg and swallow the contents. After the egg is drained the shell is regurgitated up.

Common Egg Eating Snakes are sometimes kept in captivity, where they are fed quail eggs and even yout run of the mill chicken eggs.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Sub-Saharan Africa
Size : Length up to 35in (90cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Colubridae -- Genus : Dasypeltis -- Species : D. scabra

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