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Photo: Rattlesnake Swallows A Squirrel Whole Like It's NBD

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If you come across the path of a rattlesnake, the situation above is probably the best case scenario, according to photographer Sheda Morshed. Not only does a rattlesnake swallowing a squirrel whole make a particularly gnarly Instagram shot, but it also means that the rattlesnake is currently too occupied to snap at you.

This shot was taken in the lower loop of the Temescal Canyon State Park Sunday evening and picked up by Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, who notes that rattlesnakes act as "natural rodent control" and that they can eat a large rodent up to every two weeks. Personally, I'd rather take my chances with a rat or squirrel than a venomous snake, but who am I to question the brutal truths of the circle of life?

Morshed writes to LAist, "I'd seen snakes eat meals in captivity before, but it was something else witnessing the SM Mountains' only venomous snake in the act! I hope readers can appreciate the positive role snakes and other predators play in our ecosystem, helping keep rodent populations in check."

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This isn't a binge, this is how rattlesnakes eat: swallowing their prey whole. After they feast, rattlesnakes hide out and become sluggish as they digest their prey before lying in wait to find their next victim—or maybe a hawk to embrace.