An amazing set of photographs have shown exactly what happens to snakes that try to eat 30 pound porcupines. The pictures emerged after an African Rock python ate the large porcupine in a game reserve location in South Africa on the Kwazulu Natal coast. The quills from the animal caused major damage to the inside of the snake, with deep lacerations made in the digestive tract.
The general manager of the reserve, Jennifer Fuller said, “The exact reasons for the snake’s death are not clear. It is apparent that several porcupine quills were lodged inside the digestive tract. It had fallen off the rocky ledge.”
In either case, having quills up to 9 inches long stuck inside the python probably didn’t make its life any easier. She went on to explain that while the spines from a porcupine will usually put off most predators, snakes often rely on senses other than vision. Thermal and chemical sensory mechanisms would not have picked up the razor sharp quills and given the snake no warning about what it was about to eat.