National Geographic : 1971 Sep
Among the largest and most primitive of snakes, the python prefers land, but readily enters the pools to ambush water birds and small mammals. It can remain submerged for half an hour or lie for hours near the bank, nostrils barely protruding from the water as it awaits a victim. Seizing prey with needlelike teeth, it wraps the animal in a suffocating embrace, then swallows it whole. Like most residents of the springs, however, the hunter may quickly become the hunted: For all its awesome size, the python is fair game for Mzima's largest crocodiles.