Scientists explain why a boa constrictor does not choke when choking its prey

boa boa constrictor With the special movements of the ribs in the lower part of his body, he can expel some air through his lungs, so that he continues to breathe while the prey suffocates and dies in his rings. An article has been published about it Journal of Experimental Biology.

Small mammals, reptiles, and birds that fall into the arms of a boa constrictor live only a few minutes while squeezing out the spirit using the upper third of their body. But the same part of its body contains the lungs, so it’s pretty surprising that the boa isn’t afraid to suffocate while killing its prey.

John Capano of Brown University in Rhode Island and colleagues in the US and Australia have figured out how snakes deal with this problem. Capano claims they draw air from compressed lungs by selectively bending the ribs in the lower body. “Snakes seem to have tight control over which part of the body is responsible for airing the lungs at any given time,” says Capano. “This explains how they can use the ribcage to kill the owner of the other ribcage while surviving.” Snakes do not have a diaphragm, which means they have to move their ribs to breathe. Capano explains that although they have very long lungs that extend beyond the body area used to suffocate prey, the lower part of these lungs “literally looks like a stuffed balloon” and can’t really breathe properly.

To examine this entire process in detail, Capano and colleagues applied a medical blood pressure cuff to different parts of three bodies. boa constrictor and observed the movements of their bodies during compression. X-ray video images showed that when any part of the boa’s ribs were compressed by the cuff, the snake shifted its other ribs to other parts of the body to compensate. Specifically, when the cuff closed over the area above the upper lungs, the snakes began to move the ribs around the area with their lung sacs. And when the upper ribs were not compressed, the ribs close to the saccular region remained motionless.

Source: Gazeta


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