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Python swallows croc in epic battle for survival

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If you ever wondered which animal would win in a snake versus crocodile face-off, you now have your answer.

Extraordinary photos have emerged of two of nature's most powerful and dangerous creatures confronting one another in a battle for survival in northern Queensland, Australia.

The images, captured by mother Tiffany Corlis, show a 10-foot water python devouring the three-foot fresh water crocodile after a lengthy and dramatic fight for control between the two man-killers.

Image: Tiffany Corlis via ABC North West Queensland

Corlis was having breakfast this morning at Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa in Northern Queensland, when two canoeists alerted her to the struggle nearby.

In an interview with ABC North West Queensland Radio today, she described how the snake got the upper hand over the crocodile, wrestling it and constricting it, before finally dragging it to the shore to eat it.

Image: Tiffany Corlis via ABC North West Queensland

"[The crocodile] was fighting at the start, so it was trying to keep its head out of water and survive," she said. "But as the morning sort of progressed, you could tell that both of them were getting a little weaker.

"Finally, the croc sort of gave in and the snake had uncoiled for a little while and had a brief break and then actually started to consume the crocodile."

Image: Marvin Muller via ABC North West Queensland

Corlis, an author, added more detail of the encounter in an interview with the BBC.

"After the crocodile had died, the snake uncoiled itself, came around to the front, and started to eat the crocodile, face-first," she said. "I don't know where it went after [it had finished eating] - we all left, thinking we didn't want to stick around!"

Image: Marvin Muller via ABC North West Queensland

Another witness, Alyce Rosentha, said the fight lasted around five hours.

Snake expert Associate Professor Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Science, told the Brisbane Times that such a conflict is not unusual.

‘"Crocs are more dangerous to catch but easier to sneak up on," he said. "They [snakes] feed heavily on small rodents but that’s not to say they won’t take the crocs as well.

"The problem is they are risking being injured or killed, so they have to be judicious."

Take a look at video stills from the incident (if you can stomach it), below:

Images: Tiffany Corlis and Marvin Muller via ABC North West Queensland

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