No time for anything substantive lately, though thoughts on the ZSL caecilian meeting coming up soon. Meanwhile, here’s another short article in the ‘over-enthusiastic swallowing’ series: note that the articles aren’t all about cases where animals choke to death. Some of them concern cases where the animals swallow insanely large objects, and still live to tell the tale. This time round, we look at the case of Mushu, a pet Central bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps, who was noted by her 7-year-old owner (Finley Collins) as having something unusual protruding from her vent.
Finley was (according to the online news articles I’ve read) sure that Mushu was pregnant and about to give birth. But no: Bearded dragons are oviparous, and the thing protruding from her cloaca wasn’t biological in origin. It was a toy lizard. Mushu swallowed the whole thing, and it successfully passed through her entire digestive system (look how big the toy is compared to Mushu). Putting a toy rubber lizard in an enclosure with a live one is a bit of a dumb thing to do, but I guess that’s what happens when 7-year-olds look after lizards.
The vet who removed the toy lizard (the removal wasn’t surgical: it was simply pulled out of Mushu’s cloaca, I think under anaesthetic) noted that screws, pennies and other objects have been swallowed by captive Bearded dragons.
Thanks to Markus Bühler for the heads-up.
For previous articles on ‘over-enthusiastic’ swallowing see…
- Roadrunner tries to eat horned lizard. Splits neck open. Dies.
- Snake 195 mm long eats centipede 140 mm long. Centipede too big. Snake dies.
- Perentie tries to swallow echidna. Echidna too spiky, Perentie gets horribly injured. Dies.
- Heron tries to swallow giant lamprey. Chokes. Dies. Second heron tries same trick. Also chokes. Also dies.