A video posted on YouTube of an giant snake regurgitating an entire cow has gone viral, ratcheting up over 700,000 views on YouTube in the just five days.

In the minute and half clip, a green anaconda with a large bump in its scaly body can be seen writhing on the shallow river bed. The snake then proceeds to open its mouth and throw up the entire undigested carcass of the animal into the jungle swamp.

The sickening video was posted on the site by MrCocktail888 on 23 November and was allegedly filmed in Brazil. Whilst the reasons for the anaconda to vomit his prey are unknown, it could be because the animal felt threatened and needed to regurgitate its food in order to make a quick escape if needed.

The South American snake is known to feast on a variety of animals, from fish and birds, to deer and even jaguars. The largest animal on record to have been consumed by a constrictor is a 59-kg impala, eaten by a 4.8m long African rock python in 1955.

Not everyone is convinced that the regurgitated dinner was indeed a cow. Some YouTube commentators have said the creature might actually be a capybara, a large guinea-pig like rodent that is native to South America.

The green anaconda is a type of boa constrictor, a non-venomous snake that kills its prey through coiling round its victim and squeezing until they suffocate. The stretchy ligaments of their jaws mean they can swallow any animal whole, meaning that a cow would have been no problem to eat.

Pound for pound the green anaconda is the largest snake in the world. When fully grown, the reptile can measure more than 8.8m and weigh more than 230kg, according to National Geographic.

Written by Alfred Joyner