A python in Australia has been filmed trying and failing to swallow whole what looks like a wallaby — a small or medium-sized kangaroo.
In the video, posted on break.com, people at James Cook University can be heard squealing as the python clamps its jaws around the creature and begins to swallow.
But the snake seems to realize it is biting off more than it can chew and is forced to back away and regurgitate the upper half of the animal's body.
The camera operator then jolts and swears as the python pulls away briefly from the animal to inspect the crowd that has gathered.
Andrew Krockenberger, associate professor at James Cook University, said he ran out to watch the attack with some students after being alerted by a co-worker.
"Our lab coordinator came in from the car park and told us there was a python trying to eat a wallaby — so we all went out to have a look," he said. "While seeing snakes and wallabies isn't unusual, it was very unusual to see a snake trying to eat a wallaby on the side of a road."
Prof Krockenberger said the python made several attempts to consume the wallaby before the incident was caught on camera.
"It was a very small python and it gave up after a while. It had a good try but it was a little over ambitious," he said.
"I don't know whether it would have managed to swallow the wallaby if there hadn't had been so many people watching. I think it got a little spooked."
While some believed the wallaby had been hit by a car, Prof Krockenberger said the evidence suggested the snake attacked and killed the wallaby.
"I suspect the snake killed the wallaby because it was right at the end of a low speed road, and the wallaby wasn't there in the morning," he said.