The African egg-eating snake Dasypeltis scabra lives in savanna areas throughout Africa. This unimposing and non-poisonous adder has very special feeding habits. It feeds exclusively on birds' eggs.
By touching an egg with its tongue, the egg-eating snake is able to establish the size of the egg and, at the same time, tell whether it is fresh or has already been incubated. If the egg is fresh, the egg-eater starts slipping its big, extensible mouth over the egg. The snake has special vertebral hypapophyses which protrude into its gullet. As soon as the egg has reached this point, the snake straightens up at the front, using its body to press the egg against these hypapophyses until the eggshell has been penetrated. The contents are pressed into the stomach, and the empty eggshell regurgitated. This whole process takes about 20 minutes.