04/18/2014 01:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Centipede Eats Its Way Out Of Snake

Don't you just hate it when your lunch comes back at you?

Serbian researchers discovered this grisly specimen of nature's glory in Macedonia last year. Apparently, a young female horned viper bit off way more than it could chew.

The huge centipede, which was found protruding from the snake's abdomen, ended up being more massive than the predator itself. A dissection of the specimen revealed that the snake's internal organs were missing, and that the "entire volume of its body was occupied by the centipede."

The researchers documented their findings in a report published in Ecologica Montenegrina March 3.

To quote the report:

In this case we assume the young snake gravely underestimated the size and strength of the centipede, which itself is known as a ferocious predator. In general, this invertebrate is extremely tough... Therefore, we cannot dismiss the possibility that the snake had swallowed the centipede alive, and that, paradoxically, the prey has eaten its way through the snake, almost reaching its freedom.

  • Courtesy Ecologica Montenegrina
  • Courtesy Ecologica Montenegrina
  • Courtesy Ecologica Montenegrina

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