– how can snakes stretch so much to swallow large things?

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It just looks so painful for their mouths to stretch that wide to swallow (for example) whole, entire animals.

My mouth and jaws started to hurt after seeing the beginning stages of the swallowing process. 😖

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Your mouth and jaw are not equipped to do that, a snake’s is. They can unhinge their jaw to keep any bone from breaking, and their digestive tract is very elastic.

a humans jaw bone is hinged, the bottom is attached to the top by bone. a snakes top and bottom jaw are attached by a stretchy ligament, not bone