While the new year is a time when many of us start thinking about hitting the gym, one Australian carpet python is getting a head start. On Tuesday, a viral video posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) shows the snake attempting a rather unusual strength exercise: a possum pullup.
The giant coastal carpet python, native to the Sunshine Coast of Australia, is first seen dangling from the rafters of a veranda roof by its tail, the head of a brushtail possum firmly clamped in its jaws. The body of the furry marsupial hangs limply as the snake attempts to pull it back into the ceiling. The snake's powerful body starts to curve and coil, bringing the possum up a few feet as the snake wraps around itself.
The video shows exactly where the snake starts to struggle, its body slowly uncoiling as the possum's weight becomes too heavy. It ultimately fails the one-rep possum-pullup max, dropping the marsupial back on the tiled floor before it can drag it back into the ceiling.
Queensland snake catcher Daniel Busstra believes that the possum likely was originally in the rafters with the snake while alive. "The possum would have been sleeping up in the rafters and the python would have taken advantage of it," Busstra told News.com.au. "The python would have picked up the scent, gone up to the rafters, [struck] at it, wrapped it up and strangled it, and then while it was strangling it, it would have lost its balance."
Brushtail possums are a common snack for carpet pythons, and Busstra believes that if the python had a better grip on the rafter, it would have easily pulled the possum up. Carpet pythons can reach over 12 feet in length and are incredibly powerful, wrapping their prey up to kill them by suffocation before swallowing them whole.
Unfortunately for this particular carpet python, however, it probably went hungry Tuesday. Busstra told News.com.au that the python probably left the possum on the ground after it failed the pullup challenge, as pythons generally won't eat an animal they've killed after the process is disturbed by something such as dropping the prey.
The snake will have to train a little harder before attempting such a feat again.
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