Yellow Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) in the Big Cypress National Preserve, it was hard to miss the rat-shaped bulge in its midsection. I could tell it was a male because if it was a female it would have asked “does this rat make me look fat?”
The snake paused. Clearly not blending in. Probably thinking it did. It didn’t even blink. Mostly because snakes don’t have eyelids. Not wanting to disturb the digestive process, I kept my distance while I photographed the constrictor.
I then considered what was in store for the rat snake. The rodent was now riding the reptilian roller coaster of digestion and within the next five days will be reduced to nothing but fur. Inside, the snake’s intestine will grow 2-3 times the normal size, allowing for an increased amount of digestive juices to dissolve the food to nutrients. It’s a meal that may hold the snake over for weeks if not months if no other prey is available.