Can a cormorant really manage to digest a huge, living eel, bones and all?
Does the poor eel (it was quite a bright/pretty green color) stand any slim chance of escaping (that thrashing, biting, etc.) the hungry birds stomach or is it destined to become food at that point?!
I would think the eel’s slime acts as a protective coating and help it turn around in such stretchy/elastic surroundings too?
Backstory about how the question(s) came up:
I recently saw a cormorant at our local park. It dove pretty quickly, soon after it came up struggling with a large green eel. The thick 2' eel seemed quite determined to escape by thrashing and even wrapping around the birds neck! Still, after about 2 minutes the bird somehow opened it’s throat real wide and swallowed it down entirely... BUT the battle for life and dinner wasn't over yet! The desperate eel still was resisting and seemed to rise partly (I could see it come back out!) escaping the bird’s neck/stomach many times, only to be gulped back in. Watching the Cormorant contend with this monster was some sight! Eventually the uncomfortable cormorant swam away with what appeared to be the unfortunate prey frantically wriggling in its stomach!