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Swallowing her tail???

Discussion in 'Childrens Pythons' started by smallgrayfox, Dec 22, 2004.

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  1. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Last night I fed Ky-Lin a pinkie, which she grabbed and rolled up in her coils with amazing speed. The head end was even the part that was sticking out, so I thought oh good, she'll probably eat it head end first this time. Well, not only did she still end up taking it butt first, which is ok, no big deal...I don't have a problem with that anymore...(this was after 20 minutes of holding onto the thing, pulling its ear for a while with her teeth, pulling its tail for another little while, and once trying to eat it straight down from the top of the head...poor little python, still doesn't have a clue, I guess), BUT Ky-Lin literally pulled herself into a freaking knot, (I'm not exaggerating), while swallowing the butt end as I watched in utter astonishment. I literally could not see how this was going to work out if she didn't loosen something up, which she finally did a little bit...enough to let her work her own head upside down through her coils to swallow more pinkie. At this point, I was pretty surprised at how this meal was going, but still ok about it, thinking, ok this has got to be a good learning experience for her, next time she'll know a little better how to go about this. However, what happened next was unbelievable (and funny in retrospect, I guess)...after she worked her head upside down over this pinkie and through two coils, she ended up with her own tail in her mouth. I thought ok, that's interesting, but she'll let go of it in a moment, so I waited a bit. She didn't. I'm sure she would have realized it once she really clamped down on it (right?), but it freaked me out just a little :eek:, and I gently lifted her tail out of her mouth, where the skin of her tail was actually catching on her tiny little teeth (I was very very careful not to be in any danger of pulling her teeth out!). This whole meal from start to finish took about 40 excruciating minutes.

    My question is...how often do snakes end up with their own tails in their mouths when they eat? My daughter had visions of those cartoon snakes that swallow their own tails, getting smaller and smaller until they *POP* into nothingness...Impossible in reality, I know :D , but could she really hurt herself if she didn't realize right away she had her own tail in her mouth along with her meal? :eek:
     
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Erm, this is not a common experience!! :p But now you have me thinking of the same image as your daughter!! Quite amusing! :D

    I'm sure she would have realised after a while that she was swallowing her own tail!! None of ours have ever done this, although the cali king used to have a terrible aim and every time used to tag his own tail a few times before actually striking the mouse! Shouldn't laugh, but it was quite amusing, and sweet, watching him go nudge his tail as if to say "i'm sorry" :p
     
  3. Rocky's Dad

    Rocky's Dad Elite Member

    Wow - that's quite a story! Look at it on the bright side - maybe she's a real talanted snake and you can teach her to tie herself in different knots - I'm that would be good enough to get you on Letterman... ;) :D

    The tail thing is weird, though. Can't imagine that she'd continue to do this down the road...
     
  4. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Hmmm very weird, wonder if she would of carried on if you hadnt pulled het tail out, i came across this pic, from a corn snake forum i go to, and its quite, well errm, disturbing CLICK HERE
     
  5. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Oh Jeez! :eek: That's horrible! :( Well, I certainly won't let Ky-Lin eat unsupervised! My gosh, who would think they would keep right on swallowing their own tails! I'm glad I went ahead and worked hers out of her mouth when I did instead of waiting to see how far she would go with it. Yikes. Hopefully it's just something inexperienced babies might do, and she'll grow out of that danger. I hope. :(

    Strange though that the baby corn in the picture hadn't been recently fed. Ky-Lin's mistake was caused by her tail going in along with a pinkie...what else could prompt a baby snake to swallow its own tail? I can't imagine! :confused:
     
  6. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    I wouldn't worry so much ;) My pythons have bitten themselves a couple of times while eating and they used to tie themselves in knots all the time when they were small. Boids don't usually eat as fast as say corn snakes. Mine take at least 20 minutes to eat, usually late at night when I want to go to bed! I definately freaked out the first time I saw one bite itself while eating though. I really doubt Ky-Lin would serously injure herself and if she's being that ravenous about eating maybe she needs a bit more food? How s the girth of the pink compared to her girth? Does it make a lump once it's in?
     
  7. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    She had a medium size pinkie last Sunday, a small pinkie on Friday, and then the bigger one yesterday that left a HUGE lump once she got it down after I took her tail out of her mouth. I can't imagine that she hasn't had enough to eat with all that. They've all left lumps, and the one from yesterday's feeding looked like it was as big as she could possibly take! She was positively lumbering when she went back into her enclosure after she finished.

    I'm relieved to know other pythons have accidentally bitten themselves...at least Ky-Lin's not alone...I guess she just needs a little more experience.

    I think the only reason she had her tail in her mouth is because it was pushed against the last of the pinkie as it went into her mouth. BUT I'll keep a close eye on her when she eats, just to be sure... :eek:
     
  8. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Well then she's just a young, virile, enthusiastic eater :D :p An enthusiastic eater is better than a fussy one any day. My pythons seem to have grown out of the knot-tying, self-biting stage so there is hope for her yet ;)
     
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