Ever have that bloated feeling?

Since it is close to dinner time, it’s probably the perfect moment to gather your kids around and show them this movie of a snake vomiting up a dead hippo. Tell them we have a fun new game to play after our meal. Don’t tell your spouse! And don’t tell anyone I told you about this!


  1. Russell says

    That’s pretty amazing. And just proves the wisdom of the old saying: never eat anything larger than your head.

  2. X. Wolp says

    either a tapir or a cappy bara, it’s very hard to make out
    then again, snakes eating rodents has been overdone

  3. unreve says

    Gross and disgusting. I mean the behavior of those naked apes. Snakes often regurgitate their food like that when they are threatened. Those primates were harrassing the snake, probably beating it.

  4. Tom Ames says

    What’s the backstory on this? Does anyone know why the snake wasn’t left in peace to digest his hard-swallowed meal?

    Someone should call the SPCA.

  5. Gregory Mayer says

    It looks like the snake is an anaconda, and the regurgitated prey is a capybara. The narration sounds Portuguese, which would make the video from Brazil.

  6. Dee says

    If the recording is in Brazil, like it sounds, that snake is lucky he didn’t have his head cut off. Unless they did it after the camera stopped recording. My ex (Brazilian) used to get newpaper clippings from his family occasionally. One clipping was a story about a dentist who was eaten by an anaconda (I think) while on a fishing trip with some buddies. The picture accompanying the article showed a really big snake without a head in the flatbed of an old truck. The snake had a big bulge in his middle.

  7. Fernando Magyar says

    Yes, the video is definitely from Brazil, Sao Paulo state, I was born there. The snake as the narrator says is a young six meter long Sucuri (Anaconda) from the Jacare river in Araraquara . If you look carefully at the rear legs you can see that they do not belong to a Tapir so Capybara is more than likely what it is. Re Comment #6 Surely you jest, right?

  8. Inky says

    Those people are disgusting. From the way they were treating it on camera, I doubt that the snake lived after the video was stopped.

  9. deeks says

    i should think it would be a bit more amazing to watch the snake swallow it, at least then theres a bit of suspence.

  10. Carlie says

    Is it definite that the vomit part of the video wasn’t played backwards? I found it odd that the audio stopped right before the snake started spitting the thing out. And if they were really interested in getting it out, I’m surprised that the guy standing right next to it wouldn’t have grabbed onto the legs and pulled to help get it out.

  11. Jon D says

    Carlie: I think it’s quite clearly not in reverse as the laws of physics still seem to be in operation. And if it was backwards, that would require the snake to be sucking in the capybara.

  12. Dee says

    Not to defend the behavior of the guys in this recording, but I think it might be fair to consider their perspective a little. At the risk of mind-reading a bunch of people I’ve never met, I believe they would consider that snake very dangerous; a threat to themselves, to their kids, and whatever livestock they might have. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did kill it. Not that different from shooting a bear that has become habituated to humans. The way they seem to toy with it appears callous to me, but then I don’t have to deal big snakes like that on a regular basis, and it’s tough to make a decent judgement from something that short.

  13. 90 says

    The apes in the video are actually quite mean. It is possible to hear the woman say “throw water at it” while the guys say something about “calling” the snake.

  14. Fernando Magyar says

    It seems some of the apes commenting this post are rather clueless about the cultural nuances influencing the behavior of the people in the video. They are admittedly harassing the snake. If I were there in person I would try to defend the snake. However I think the comment by Dee comes closest to hitting the nail on the head. My guess is that these are not very highly educated people and they are probably more concerned with the very real risks that would be posed by a snake of this size in their midst. How would any of you apes feel sitting by the banks of the Jacare river fishing, knowing that that snake was still around? Maybe your dogs and kids also play on the banks of this same river.

  15. Dee says

    I have to admit I used to wonder if some of the stories my ex used to tell me about anacondas eating people were true (even with the newpaper article), but if they can take capybaras, the dentist wouldn’t have been a problem.

  16. Thanny says

    I’ve seen this before. It’s definitely not a hippo, and is probably a capybara. You’d think the fact that anacondas and hippos live on two different continents would prevent this kind of misunderstanding.

    I think it’s clear that the people in the video were trying to get the snake to regurgitate its meal because it was human-sized. Perhaps a local person was missing. I rather think what they did is kinder than simply killing the snake and cutting it open to find out what it had eaten. The fact that they didn’t do that suggests the snake was permitted to go on its way after the ordeal was over.

  17. says

    That is so gross, I wouldn’t even put that on my blog…

    I once found a python skeleton, intact (about 4.5 -5 meters long) with the entire (intact) skeleton of a juvenile kob inside it. But, no soft tissue left and nobody was barfing up hippos.

  18. says

    I admit that this snake looks a lot like an anaconda, but that animal also looks a lot like a (pygmy or juvinile .. it’s a bit messed up) hippo. I’ve only seen capybara in zoos, but I’ve lived among the hippos. The feet are not tapir feet and the head is not a tapir head. I’m betting on hippo.

    The fact that they live on different continents is not really a problem. I mean, none of this is happening in nature. This is some sort of game park or zoo or something.

    I can appreciate all the “leave the snake alone” sentiment being expressed here, but one must keep some perspective. Have you ever been nearly killed by an actual snake? In some places, it is routine to have known a certain number of people who died of snake just as it is in the US to routinely know some people who died of, say, breast cancer. I don’t know about anacondas, but the chance of a large/agressive species of snake killing your child, in some places, is much, much higher than the chances of your child being picked up by a sexual predator in any US city or suburb. So you kill the snakes.

    On the other side of it, Do you leave the spiders that live in your house alone unfailingly?

    Personally, I don’t like to kill the snakes, and I’ve had some pretty close calls with Gabon Vipers and Mambas, and one close call with a “green tree snake” (which I later found out is also a “boomslang.”) And I leave the spiders in my house alone unless my wife or daughter insists that I kill one, then I give it a warning, a head start, then pretend to kill it.

    But it takes great willpower for me to not want to kill the snake, frankly. (I always kill the 10 inch long poisonous centipedes, and scorpions if they are indoors… but not outdoors.)

  19. Dee says

    If I were living there, and my kids were playing around in the brush, I think I would kill the snake.

    As for the spiders in the house, we have an arrangement. If I don’t see them, they can live. That includes the black widows out in the garden.

    On the other hand, I kill the wasps around the house on sight. Little bastards (got stung in the eye while minding my own business one day; it took days for the swelling to go down). I will also kill biting flies and deer flies out in the backcountry, if I can get them (not very often, and you usually have to wait until they have their jaws embedded in your flesh).

  20. foldedpath says

    This is an unnecessarily sensationalized post. I’m surprised at PZ. Please edit the “hippo,” if nothing else. Aside from being on the wrong friggin’ continent, capybaras are the size of smallish dogs, which you can clearly see in the video from the early shots of people establishing the anaconda’s scale.

    This is an anaconda doing what comes naturally, and the people there probably did cut off its head after this was filmed. I was a photographer working on a book on Brazilian national parks many years ago, and I photographed both anacondas and capybaras down in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Anacondas are very passive when they’re not hungry, which isn’t that often. They take a LONG time to digest. I remember crawling down into the mud to stick my camera a foot away from a huge anaconda’s face, and he didn’t blink an eyelash (okay, they don’t have eyelashes). I think he was waiting for the next rains to fall, before completing his next thought, or noticing his surroundings. Big snakes are like that. It’s the fast, highly venomous, little snakes you have to worry about. Anacondas have no venom, and if this one swallowed a capybara, it was probably a sick one (I saw plenty of those… don’t get me started on tropical botflies… now THAT’s a nasty subject).

    The idea of killing an anaconda, just because it “might be dangerous for my kids omg!” is just insane. Learn a little bit about the local wildlife, wherever you live, before you go around killing things “just in case.”

  21. Tom Ames says

    Yes, my comment about the SPCA was almost entirely in jest. I can understand the situations that might have led to the people in the film wanting to see what the snake had swallowed.

    OTOH, a lot of animal baiting goes on around the world. If a bunch of rattlesnakes get thrown into a pen for a crowd’s drunken amusement, the SPCA certainly ought to be informed.

  22. Janine says

    I am afraid this does not reflect too well on me but all I know about capybaras I learned from ‘The Tick’. The Tick picked up a capybara on one of his adventures and mistook it for a talking dog. (Don’t ask. The Tick’s brain was his greatest weakness.) This capybara was not swallowed and regurgitated but it was moist and has a skin condtion.

    I am sorry but I loved that cartoon.

  23. Casey S says

    Well put “foldedpath”. It is pretty ridiculous the irrational fear that people have of snakes. I love the Pantanal. I just got back from there and am eager to go back. What an amazing part of the world.