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A Fresh Meal Photograph by Shane Bechler

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Kyle Dig

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Kyle Dig

Oh interesting! That sizable thing was eaten in a mere 15 seconds?! That must be some hungry bird! Still, it seems difficult to me that the bird can deal with this large fish! So the bird was actually able to fit (swallowed alive?!) that whole thing down its long/skinny throat completely somehow?? I have never witnessed an event like this before. I feel somewhat perplexed over how it actually happens, wouldn't the fish stand a chance of escaping or even damaging (it’s sharp fins, wriggling, biting, etc.) the bird's throat/stomach if eaten in that condition?! It’s hard for me to imagine that the formidable-looking fish (wouldn't the prey also go into a desperate "survival mode" once it realized that it hit the stomach?) doesn't turn around inside the elastic gullet and how the bird can keep down/digest such an object with no issues? I don't have much knowledge about these events and am mostly curious, I appreciate any feedback/explanation. Sorry for all of the questions, have a good week ;)

Kyle Dig

Amazing capture! That looks like a big fish staring down its captor's throat here! So does the bird really manage to win the battle and gulp that whole thing okay? Does the fish put up a good fight, if eaten does the unlucky prey get swallowed wriggling all the way down as well?!

Shane Bechler replied:

Thank you Kyle. Yes, the cormorant won this battle and the fish did put up a fight. The prey got swallowed whole and wriggled all the way down. All that took place in about 15 seconds time.