Anonymous asked in Home & GardenOther - Home & Garden · 1 month ago

Nature Food Chain in Action?

I recently saw a cormorant at our local park. It dove pretty quickly, soon after it came up struggling with a large green eel. The thick 2' eel seemed quite determined to escape by thrashing and even wrapping around the birds neck! Still, after about 2 minutes the bird somehow opened it’s throat real wide and swallowed it down entirely... BUT the battle for life and dinner wasn't over yet! The desperate eel still was resisting and seemed to rise partly (I could see it come back out!) escaping the bird’s neck/stomach many times, only to be gulped back in. Watching the Cormorant contend with this monster was some sight! Eventually the uncomfortable cormorant swam away with what appeared to be the unfortunate prey frantically wriggling in its stomach!  

Sorry to digress, my questions are as follows... So can the bird really manage to digest that huge thing bones and all and how?? Does the poor eel (it was quite a bright/pretty green color) stand any slim chance of escaping (that thrashing, biting, etc.) the hungry birds stomach or is it destined to become food at that point?! 

I would think the eel’s slime acts as a protective coating and help it turn around in such stretchy/elastic surroundings too?

Thanks for all the feedback/info, have a good day!

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You have heard of stomach ACIDS?   The eel or snake stands no chance against that.  Whatever does not get digested (bones and the like) just passes out the butt. they are first ground up in the gullet which is bits of grit that acts like the birds teeth)  Think about that the next time you swallow a Live Goldfish as it is the same process.  The only part different is that you do not have a gullet like a bird.  You have teeth, so chew slowly.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    Birds have a two-part stomach (one can consider this as two stomachs). The eel gets into the first stomach, where it gets "ground" up before being digested in the second stomach. Remember: birds do NOT have teeth to chew their food.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.