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Culture

Yes, a bird can eat an alligator

A large, hungry wading bird chooses an unusual snack as a wildlife photographer catches the moment on video.

Photographer Scott Martin has a talent for nature photos, but he really captured an impressive moment with a video of a great blue heron swallowing down a baby alligator at the Viera Wetlands in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shared Martin's footage on Facebook on Thursday.

According to the institute, "Great blue herons eat nearly anything within striking distance, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects and other birds." Martin reported the wading bird appeared to play around with the small gator for at least 20 minutes before actually eating it.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, great blue herons can reach a length of nearly 54 inches (137 centimeters), but only weigh up to 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).

The video offers an intriguing glimpse at the large bird's eating behavior. It doesn't seem to take much effort to get the reptile down the hatch, which is fascinating for humans to see, but horrifying if you're a small alligator.