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The Corpse Flower Hunk has moved on to live python feeding: It's a rough mouse's life at HMNS

Friday Feeding Frenzy
The green tree pythons are fed one mouse each per week. Photo by Joel Luks
Friday Feeding Frenzy
A giant bullfrog goes after a cricket. Photo by Joel Luks

So much for chicken or beef.

Among the desirable menu options that have several diners going wild at one institution are mouse, crickets and some veggies.

Friday Feeding Frenzy at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, held every week during the summer (except for July 4), is quite the scene, with HMNS staff offering educational demonstrations about the diets of some of the creatures that call the museum home, including green tree pythons, giant bullfrogs, praying mantises, centipedes, tarantulas and the Cockrell Butterfly Center's resident iguana, Charo.

 "These mice are about the size of the snakes' bodies, so the snakes have to constrict the mice. As snakes don't chew like we do, it takes quite a long time for them to digest their food."

"We have four feedings every Friday," Zac Stayton, the HMNS horticulturist, says. "It depends on who's hungry. Our two green tree pythons are hungry every week."

Many Houstonians may remember Stayton as the charming beau who cared for Corpse Flower Lois during her stinky blooming period. He explains that these nonvenomous snakes, named Ka and Nagini, are each fed one frozen mouse that's warmed up to body heat temperature per week.

The constrictors take about seven days to digest their meal.

"You can see that the snakes are not that big around," Stayton says. "These mice are about the size of the snakes' bodies, so the snakes have to constrict the mice. As snakes don't chew like we do, it takes quite a long time for them to digest their food."

In this "Up To Speed" segment sponsored by Cadillac, host Nicole Hickl explores this family-friendly event.

Watch the video above, which includes GoPro point-of-view footage of Stayton feeding the pythons as they grab their rodents and begin their delicious repast. Yum!

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