Aussies stunned by incredible detail in 'fascinating' snake photo

The image sheds light on this snake's impressive survival ability.

There seems to be no limit to the impressive capabilities of Australian wildlife, with one picture of a snake and frog exposing the otherwise hidden trait of the predator.

Over the weekend a Mackay resident, situated on the east coast of Queensland, captured the moment a keelback snake enjoyed a midday snack, with the mere fact it survived ingesting the toxic frog highlighting its evolutionary prowess.

The snake can be seen holding the frog in its mouth, consuming its prey from the rear.
The keelback snake was caught ingesting a toxic frog, an impressive evolutionary ability many other local snakes lack. Source: Facebook

While other snakes species would not have survived the snack, this juvenile keelback was free to slither another day.

Shared online, the picture was revered for its "fascinating" insight into the snakes survival ability.

How can keelback snakes safely eat toxic frogs?

This species of snake can claim the title of 'toxic frog eaters' thanks to their ancestral lineage, with many believing their ancestors are the most recent to arrive in Australia.

"Keelback snakes are derived from a type of snake in Asia that eat toads," Associate Professor Bryan Fry told Yahoo News Australia.

Keelback snakes originate from the vast family of natricidae snakes, with tiger keelback snakes native to South Asia. This species are not only capable of eating large toxic toads, unlike other snake species in the continent, but they also utilise their prey's toxins for their own defensive arsenal.

Australian derivatives benefit from these formidable genetics, however, they have a limited immunity to the toxins, capable of only successfully preying on small to medium-sized toads. Despite being capable of ingesting toxic prey, this snake species in non-venomous.

Keelbacks are known to be active during the day and night, dependent on the temperature, and use their backward curved teeth to seize and consume their prey from the rear — another unique characteristic of the species.

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