Being eaten alive. Probably one of our oldest Primal Fears, and quite universal, given that we used to share this planet with some rather nasty predators. In this modern world, we have little to fear from most animals on land (though the sea is another matter), but stories of monsters of all kinds (dragons, aliens, demons, zombies, etc.) keep us very aware that we can become prey quite easily. It's probably the most common fear we have as kids.
Sometimes the victim is Swallowed Whole, but other times, he or she is savagely ripped apart piece by piece (this is especially common if one is overtaken by multiple creatures out to eat you).
See also Fed to the Beast, where someone is deliberately consigned to this awful fate, and Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth, for when the eater changes its mind. Almost never seen in common media is when the eaten is a vorarephile, those rare individuals for whom being eaten alive is not a fear...but a fetish.
If you were looking for the film Eaten Alive, you'll want this page.
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A Fruit Roll-Up and Fruit By the Foot get eaten by a photo booth.
This happens to the cinnamon toast crunches in their commercials.
This commercial for "M&M's" has Naya Rivera begin to lick the back of the Red M&M, then her girlfriends join Naya in eating him—"It hurts but I kinda like it!"
Anime & Manga
Region: The victims of the plague of starving rats swarming over Tokyo suffer this fate.
BioMeat By the same author, the eponymous creatures are bred to eat anything, and they do.
Naruto: The title character gets eaten by a giant snake while in the Forest of Death during the Chunin Exams. He escapes by creating so many shadow clones from within the snake that it explodes.
The common fate of anyone branded for sacrifice to the Godhand in Berserk. Quite a few Apostles are fond of this too, such as the female Apostle that Guts kills in the very beginning of the manga.
Happens to Nene and Nono in . Subverted, they turn out to be alive. And their following real deaths are very different. Though one of the Elder Bairns does chomp on a struggling civilian as the group destroys Saya's hometown.
In fact, this happens more often than not, the only exceptions being the bakery man from episode 3 who is torn to pieces before being eaten, the fishermen of episode 4 and the policeman from episode 7 who are killed but not eaten and a few of Saya's classmates who are killed before being eaten.
This is how Gourmet from YuYu Hakusho gets the powers of Toguro and Murota — but it's revealed that it's been just Toguro all along, taking control of Gourmet's body and then forcing him to kill himself before it's all him.
In Attack on Titan, if you are a human who comes into contact with a Titan, chances are this is going to be how you die. They don't need to eat you to survive, but that won't stop them from doing it.
In episode 8 of season 1's Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Sena is playing a Visual Novel in the clubroom. Yozora then mentions that the game would be godly if a shark suddenly appeared at the pool Sena's character is currently at. At first Sena berates her for suggesting such an awful thing, then that's exactly what happens. Sena thinks its just a joke at first, thinking the hero will simply vanquish it. Then the shark eats her character, and she suffers from a Sudden Downer Ending. Even Yozora is shocked at the random twist in that game before recollecting herself to call it a good game, while Sena angrily snaps the disc in half.
"Fritz the Cat, Secret Agent for the C.I.A." contains what is probably the earliest depiction of vore in comics. Fritz is swallowed whole by a giant creature, along with a female Chinese agent who betrays her country because she loves Fritz. Together, the two escape out the back way.
In Old Man Logan a mutated and insane Hulk does this to Wolverine: him and his inbred clan have been eating their enemies for years. None of them had adamantium claws and a healing factor, however...
The end of EC Comics, "Carrion Death!" (Shock SuspenStories #9) does a good job of capturing this Primal Fear:
And I feel no pain as the vice-like jaws of the raw-necked vultures close upon my flesh and peel it from my bones. I cannot move... I cannot stop them... I can only watch in silent horror as they feed upon me. I can watch only until one of them plucks my eyeballs from my skull...
A highly disturbing example in Child Of The Storm comes with Chapter 21 (several readers claimed to feel physically ill after reading it) and the introduction of the veidrdraugar a.k.a. the Hunting Dead, which moderately graphically (the use of the Gory Discretion Shot somehow made it more horrific) depicted the horrific death of a baby and a young family. Unsurprisingly, this chapter served as a Wham Episode and the character that instigated was established as a Knight Of Cerebrus and an Omnicidal Maniac.
Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black narrowly avoids this after a couple of the above mentioned monsters get the drop on him. He'd taken out one of their number, but unfortunately, they hunt in packs.
And Aladar pretended to eat one of the little lemurs.
In Ferngully. the main fairy flies in the smog monster’s mouth to defeat him from within.
In Firebreather, the two monsters that were terrorizing the city must have been hungry because they kept trying to eat all the people close to Duncan. But Duncan stopped them from eating anyone including his “Guardian Angel” who wanted to kill him after he found what Duncan was.
In Shrek, the dragon eats Lord Farquaad and spits out his crown.
In the Christmas special, Gingy’s girlfriend gets eaten by Santa Claus.
In the alternate ending, Audrey was eaten after she died and Rick Moranis' character got eaten too.
So I guess for Audrey it was technically eaten dead then.
Star Wars episode VI Return of the Jedi Oola, and a Gammorean Guard get eaten by a Rancor. And the Skiff guards and even poor Boba Fett got eaten by a Sarlaac as well. (Most people don't think he died anyway though).
And Jabba just laughed at the Gammorean's unfortunate death but I saved your life!
In Jurassic Park, several humans get eaten by dinosaurs and all of the others kept getting threatened to get eaten. Other dinosaurs got eaten as well, including a Velociraptor as the T. Rex appeared Just in Time.
Donald Gennaro, after abandoning the Hammond children in a car to go hide in the bathroom when the T-Rex shows up, gets the ignominious honor of being nommed on the toilet after the T. Rex knocks down the building he's in. In the original novel, it was Dirty Coward Ed Regis, the Public Relations manager of InGen, who did this (and got eaten).
Worst cases are Robert Muldoon and John Arnold who fall prey to the raptors, of which it was explicitly stated earlier in the film that they don't bother killing their victims first, they just slice them up and start eating them alive.
Nedry got eaten by the Dilophosaurus. The book describes this scene with gruesome detail, while the movie gives us a nice discretion shot
The Jaws series and other killer shark movies will invariably feature at least one scene where someone is eaten alive by the shark.
The fate of anyone unfortunate enough to get caught by the scarab swarms in The Mummy. And the little pests are damn quick at it.
Imhotep only escapes this fate (which was part of him being entombed alive at the beginning of the movie) due to being cursed with immortality.
Kevin of Sin City has his limbs sawed off by Marv. His pet wolf, who eats what remains of the people Kevin kills after he's finished with them, is attracted to the blood and eats him alive until finally his head is sawed off. And the worst part of it all? He never makes a single sound during the entire thing, much less the scream that Marv wanted from the sick cannibal farm boy who murdered Goldie.
Dan and Joe meet this fate, courtesy of a pack of hungry wolves, in the movie Frozen.
In one of Kristen's nightmares in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Freddy transforms himself into a giant snake creature and tries to eat her from the feet up. He lets her go when Nancy comes to the rescue.
In The Bay, the victims are at first thought to have contracted a virus or bacteria, but their symptoms are in fact caused by mutant isopods eating them from the inside. A more classical example happens to people unfortunate enough to swim close to an isopod swarm.
In Troll 2, a kid catches some goblins in the act of eating their victims, prompting this memetic exchange:
"They're eating her. And then they're going to eat me! OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!"
China and Dirtmaster in The Barbarians are eaten alive (offscreen) by a dragon after they find the ruby MacGuffin. After the beast is slain, the former's corpse is found inside it, still holding the stone.
Anaconda: Rather contrary to how real Anacondas behave, the one in this film seems to eat its prey still living after constricting them for a short while. One of the victims even gets spit out and has just enough energy left to wink at the heroine.
In Animorphs, In The Time of the Dinosaurs Rachel and Tobias get eaten by a kronosaurus which they subsequently break out of, thus killing it. This was also the fate of Elfangor, who gave the kids their morphing powers; moments afterward, Visser 3 arrives, morphs a huge alien and devours Elfangor alive. The screaming features in several of the Animorphs' nightmares.
In R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps: The Blob That Ate Everyone Adam got eaten just like he did in the TV show, and two police officers got eaten and so did a bunch of citizens.
In another book, one of the Choose Your Own Adventure type books, various non-reader characters are transformed into monsters and intend to send the reader on something resembling a haunted scavenger hunt. If the reader makes a choice to doubt the reality of the transformation, it's implied the monster kids' ringleader, some kind of lizardman, eats the doubtful reader—obviouslyending that read-through.
In Homer’s The Odyssey, a Cyclops ate most of Odysseus's men.
In Titus Groan, Titus's father Sepulchrave is eaten alive by a flock of owls. Voluntarily, because he's batshit insane and suicidal.
Cato in The Hunger Games is ripped apart by dogs for twenty hours on end. By the time he gets a Mercy Kill, his skin and limbs have been gnawed off. And he was alive the whole time, on live television.
The Vorgs note short for "carnivorous cyborgs" in Alastair ReynoldsTerminal World eat their victims' brains by inserting probosces through the nose and drinking. The first time the protagonist witnesses this, he reflects that at least the victim will die once the brain is pierced — then he remembers that lobotomies used to be performed in a similar manner. A moment later he sees the victim is still conscious.
Curly in The Call of the Wild gets her face ripped apart by dogs, then after they knock her down, they surround her and eat her alive.
In the Starfire novels "In Death Ground" and "The Shiva Option" by David Weber and Steve White, the invading insect-like aliens eat sentient populations that they conquer. They prefer their prey alive and roughly child-sized. They even go so far as to raise sentients on ranches in a manner similar to how humans raise cattle or other livestock. Humanity's reaction to this was understandablysevere. Humanity begins using anti-matter warheads on their enemy's worlds in a bid to exterminate them.
In Marriott Edgar's humorous poem "The Lion and Albert", the eponymous lion swallows the eponymous boy Albert whole, after Albert has poked him with a stick. This, however, allows for an aversion in "The Return of Albert", in which the lion just spits him out again - much to the annoyance of his parents, who'd been planning to collect on his life insurance.
Lampshaded at the beginning of The War Against the Chtorr series. The protagonist can't understand why it was necessary to shoot dead a little girl to stop her from being killed by the Chtorran worms. He's shown the first pictures taken of a Chtorran feeding, which clearly show the arterial blood spray from the victim as he's torn apart.
In Henrik Drescher's parody of Pat the Bunny called Pat the Beastie, the two children, Paul and Judy, end up being eaten by the Beastie after they tortured him too much.
In The Vampire Chronicles, Mekare decapitates Akasha, the Mother of all vampires, whose heart or brain she and Maharet believe contains the spirit that animates all vampires. Were that spirit to die, so would her spiritual descendants. Luckily for them (but probably not for her), Akasha's superpowers keep her alive long enough for the twins to eat the relevant body parts, making one of them (apparently Mekare) the new queen of the damned.
The Muppet Show Kermit, Miss Piggy, Shaky Sanchez, Lenny Lizard, a chef, and Rowlf's little sidekick all get eaten by either Gorgon Heap, Behemoth, or Mean Mama.
What's that you say? You say you want a list of the times it's happened? Okay, here you go.
In the original Batman series, Robin gets eaten by a giant clam and continues to wiggle around in it in the resolution to the cliffhanger.
In one episode of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Finster slipped Kimberly and Billy a potion that made them misbehave and thanks to them the others all got eaten by an overgrown frog. Fortunately Kimberly and Billy snap out of it and save the others (but before that, Billy gets eaten alive first after figuring out their weakness).
This is taken straight from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, in the infamous 'Dan and Mei turn into punks'. And likewise, the rest of the Zyurangers get eaten, Dan figure out weakness, get eaten, and Mei solves the rest.
As in the book, in the first episode of Animorphs, Visser 3 morphs something huge and eats Elfangor alive. However, it's in silhouette and the shot cuts away the moment it happens, likely due to censorship.
In Charmed, the Charmed ones are living through fairy tales due to the balance being destroyed, and the big bad wolf eats their grandma and Piper.
Masashi Sudou/Kamen Rider Scissors meets his end in this way when he is betrayed by his Contract Monster, Volcancer. Considering that this was a Sunday-morning TV show, it's easily one of the most traumatizing deaths in the entire franchise.
In the Star Trek: Voyager episode Basics, part 2, Hogan was killed at the mouth of a cave where a giant snakeasaurus lived in a lightning-quick discretion shot. Later, more of the Voyager crew were attempting to sneak across a cavern where the snakeasuraus slept in a pit. It didn't work. A nameless crewman slipped, awoke the beast, and got Swallowed Whole just like Hogan.
One of the few decent Space: 1999 plots featured a monster infesting a spaceship which could apparently take control of its victims and force them to walk into its maw. A few moments later it would spit out their remains, having apparently digested the rest whole.
"Eaten Alive" by Diana Ross (covered by Michael Jackson), although probably meant more symbolic. That said, the original video — which showed the protagonist stranded on an island populated with beast-people reminiscent of Dr. Moreau's creations and following a Diana who progressively turned more and more into a great cat — certainly heavily implied the literal version towards the end.
In LEGO Star Wars II and The Complete Saga, you can call down a LEGO Gammorean guard which gets eaten by the LEGO Rancor after it chases the guard for a little.
In Star Wars Battlefront you can go to Jabba’s Palace and if you approach the great Hutt you get sent down the infamous trapdoor and there is the Rancor. If you get too close it will pick you up and eat you.
In the sequel you can get eaten by a Rancor as well.
In two player mode you can play on Felucia and throw your opponent into the Sarlaac pit.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: In Story Mode a Rancor gets eaten by a beast bigger than it and the evil general guy gets eaten by it as well. Now that’s what I call irony
In two player mode you can play in the arena and if you stand in the middle too long the beast eats your character.
In "the white chamber", one of the endings involves the main character being either eaten alive or torn to pieces by what we assume are either vengeful spirits or just zombies. Either way, it's pretty gruesome.
In Zoo Tycoon (if you have the Marine Mania or Dinosaur Digs expansion pack) you can put guests in with the sharks or the T-Rexes, where they will be eaten. Sometimes the T-Rexes escape and eat guests as well, but only the male guests. Also, if dinosaurs or any big cat of any kind escape, they eat their zookeepers and scientists.
In Sponge Bob Square Pants and the Creature from the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob gets eaten by a giant Alaskan Bullworm.
Prototype: the fate of Alex Mercer's victims. Unusual in that he doesn't chew or swallow, simply engulfs his prey in his own mass, absorbing them whole (and yes, it's painful, judging by the screaming). It's noted explicitly that he paralyses first, breaking their necks or spines, but death is an optional and undesirable extra. The larger infected sometimes do it as well; the introduction of the Hunters features one snapping up and chowing down on a screaming Marine.
Sort of, there is a little nuance to it. Any slain enemy in battle is eaten by the party afterward, getting points toward unlocking new abilities. However, there is a "Devour" command that can be used in battle, which is a physical type attack that, if it succeeds in doing enough damage to kill an enemy, will result in that enemy being consumed directly in one hit while the fight is still going on, for a bonus amount of avatar points. This does carry a risk though that the character doing the consuming develops a stomach ache debuff for a time.
This'll happen to either of the main characters in Dino Crisis 2 if they're caught stunned on the ground by the Giganotosaurus during their fight with it. It picks them up and chows down on them, with the game flashing to Game Over on the first bone-crushing bite.
Same for the T-Rex in the first game.
Failing the quick time event against the T-Rex in Tomb Raider Anniversary results in Lara being flung up into the air by the dinosaur and then being swallowed alive on the way down.
Off-White: Askr, the human white spirit, was eaten alive by a two headed dragon like creature. This has more significance then most examples, because her death might lead to the extinction of the entire human species.
Schlock Mercenary: This trope is the reason why giving SergeantSchlock a BFG actually counts as an act of mercy; he'll just swallow armed goons whole and melt them down into mass for himself without a care in the world if you try to make him go unarmed.
Played with in Danganronpa. The databook has drafts of all the kids's executions (though obviously, only some of them were used in-game). Two of these prospect executions would've had the victim being subjected to this: AoiAsahina would've been fed to sharks in a Drowning Pit, whereas YasuhiroHagakure would've been eaten by a door in a game show.
Part of the backstory of Helen Goodkind, mother of Phase, in the Whateley Universe. As a small child, she was kidnapped by two mutants. One ate her sister alive in front of Helen, piece by piece. Helen spent years in an institution afterward, and now hates and fears mutants.
This has also been the fate of several of Carmilla's early victims, and she still needs live food from the school cafeteria. More disturbingly, a later story has shown that it's not over for at least the former yet — since Carmilla is a fledgling demonic eldritch abomination, they've ended up in their own special kind of hell whose inhabitants still like to prey on each other...
The fact that Unicron does this to your entire planet and every man woman and child living on it is what makes him so fucking scary.
In Arthur they do this a lot: the first time Buster wrote a comic making fun of Francine in which she was a giant slime the ate Mr. Ratburn and Bionic Bunny. Later Buster’s character in the story ate the slime. In one fantasy Arthur imagined D.W. was gigantic and was looking for her breakfast. When everyone ran away she told them to “Come back here! I’m hungry!” After chasing them for a little she reaches down to the camera and it fades to black suggesting she picked someone up and was about to eat them. D.W. told Arthur and Buster the story of OD.W.eus (Odysseus) and during one part of it the Cyclops (Buster) ate Tommy and Timmy. In another episode where all the gang was dared to skip school Arthur and Buster had a dream that they got eaten by a giant clam and were getting digested! It is suggested that that happens to Dark Bunny in a special episode (just like Robin in the Batman episode The Joker‘s Tricky Hand).
In Rhyme For Your Life Dr. Rhyminstein gets eaten by the Purple Orange.
In one Batman: The Animated Series episode, Robin meets a girl, "Annie," running from Clayface who eats her later on in the episode. This of course ticks Robin off and he tries to kill Clayface when he says he can’t bring her back.
That's a somewhat iffy example. The girl was a part of Clayface in the first place. Emerging weakened from his most recent defeat, he had shaped part of himself into the semblance of a young girl, detached "her," and sent her out to scout the area to make sure it was safe for him to emerge. Because of their shared weakness, "Annie" promptly got amnesia, forgetting not merely "her" mission but "her" identity. Clayface didn't so much eat "her" as re-integrate a rogue portion of himself. He wanted the knowledge "Annie" had gained while apart from the larger Clayface, so her memories survived.
In Redwall, Asmodeus eats a fox, a vole, and a rat. In the season finale the badger gets PO’d at a rat and eats him.
Except that in the book Asmodeus is described as killing his prey with venom, rather than the discretion shots the animated series had to show, and anyways the fox came back in the second season.
In a Sponge Bob Square Pants episode, Plankton is eaten on many occasions by Miss Priss and a reoccurring old man extra (In all 3 occasions he is disguised as Krusty Krab merchandise. i.e. a Krabby Patty, in a ketchup bottle, and a soda.)
In "Frozen Face-Off" Krabs reveals he was once eaten by a huge squid-like monster and in the end Plankton gets eaten by the monster after getting mistaken for a jellybean.
In one episode a bunch of giant sea whelks came and ate everyone in town.
In one episode of The Powerpuff Girls the Professor invented a thing called Beebo that ate everyone because it thought it had too.
One of the most chilling scenes in Code Lyoko was the scene in "Marabounta" where Yumi was devoured by the out-of-controlMarabounta. Fortunately, it was only her Lyoko Avatar (her true self survived, just like was often the case for anyone who "dies" on Lyoko), but that didn't make the scene or the episode in general any less frightening (especially since it was after Aelita who, at the time, could not have survived if it happened to her.)
In one Winx Club episode Musa got knocked out and eaten by a giant turtle however, they managed to save her fortunately.
In a Courage the Cowardly Dog Eustace gets eaten by a dragon that wasn't meant to eat him, in which later the water dragon lets him out. Later in the episode a real man-eating dragon eats him and then... the end.
In Regular Show a demon-thing named Susan got eaten by a bigger demon-thing that looked like her.
In one episode, ‘Ello Gov’nor, they watch a movie about a taxi cab that gets possessed by it’s old driver and kills everyone who was involved with someone that killed him and then eats a man who was just walking his dog after running him over.
In G.I. Joe: Renegades, Cobra Commander’s new pet eats a scientist that lies to the commander’s face.
In one episode of Amimaria the gang travels back in time to where the frogs were gigantic! So big they could swallow a gorilla whole (whoa)! The gang then encounters a gaggle of giagantic frogs who subsequently eat them. Fortunately Gabooboo gather enough courage to fight the frogs and force them to spit them out Just in Time.
In one episode of Sabrina's Secret Life Sabrina went to a Halloween Party with the Gargoyle Flu and spreads it to the rest of the guests. When Sabrina and Salem go to the magic world they encounter a ghost that was at the party and is completely paranoid. When trying to avoid Sabrina and Salem it bumps into a goblin that Sabrina danced with the other night. The ghost begs for forgiveness but the goblin replies: "Forgive you?! I'm going to eat you!" The goblin grows in size and fulfills his threat. The goblin then threatens to eat Sabrina and Salem but however turns into a doll before he can.
A very cruel example of this happens in Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends when Terrance imagines a living (and very loving) pizza slice, then proceeds to eat it as it screams in agony.
In "The Inconveniencing", after Lee is trapped on the cover of a cereal box by the ghosts at the Dusk 2 Dawn, the mascot threatens him with a cereal spoon and quips "I'm bonkers for eating you alive!" We then cut to the horrified reactions of the other kids as Lee lets out a scream.
In "Dipper vs. Manliness", when they introduce the leader of the Manotaurs an old Manotaur comes out. It turns out that he's a sacrifice to the real leader, who eats the the tribute.
In "The Land Before Swine", Old Man McGucket gets swallowed whole by a baby pterodactyl. He's seen trying to crawl out of its mouth later, and at the end it's all but stated he ate his way out of the beast's belly.
The Tex Avery MGM cartoon "Jerky Turkey" ends with Joe the Bear (owner of Joe's Diner) eating both the pilgrim and the turkey. Inside the bear's stomach, the two pissed antagonists hold up a sign saying "Don't Eat At Joe's!"
In Extreme Ghostbusters the team are hunting down a bunch of vampire clowns, who eat people whole, leaving only their clothes, with Roland as one of their victims. Fortunately they are able to save him when they beat the master clown.
Sylvester ate Tweetie and Tom ate Jerry surely more than once, just to catch some gratuitous violence from Grandma resp. Spike and having to spit him out again. (And these are just the prominent offenders - one possibly could make an animation gag subtrope out of it...)
All too common in nature, whenever a famished predator is sufficiently formidable that it doesn't need to kill its prey to halt its struggling first. Lions, wolves, African wild dogs, cheetahs, snakes, hyenas, fish, lizards, turtles, dogs, leopards, eagles, baboons, vultures, bears, dholes, pelicans and probably more have been caught doing this.
The kea, a giant parrot from New Zealand, will cling to a living sheep's back and take bites out of it.
Army ants. They tear things apart, bit by bit, and their victim is alive throughout.
Sharks and piranha are famous for doing this.
Most predatory insects do this, especially if their prey is another insect. I mean, insects don't die by blood loss if they lose a limb. Go see a mantis feed, as an example.
Insect cannibalism. Locusts feed on grass normally, which is pretty damn low on protein. So what do they do when they don't have enough good food ? They go find a dead locust... or a living one who has just molted (and is therefore soft and weak), and they dine. For extra gruesome points, it's the young ones who do it most often. In groups. We suppose that it's why they move and form such huge swarms : they move because they don't want to be eaten.
Uloboridae spiders, who lack venom glands but compensate it for a particularly nasty way to kill their prey: wrapping them in silk so tightly that its exoeskeleton get crushed and broken. After that, time for the spider to inject digestive fluids in the package, let them enter into the victim's innards through the wounds caused by coccooning them so, and suck the resulting soup. Lather, rinse, repeat, and all of this taking place while the prey is still alive.
Swallowing live prey is more common in nature than you might think. All amphibians and most fish swallow all their prey alive, and a good number of reptiles and birds will at least do this to small prey. And of course there's anything that eats ants or krill/plankton which simply gulp their prey down by the dozens, if not hundreds.
A recent hypothesis on the feeding behavior of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs (think Velociraptor) suggests that they used their sickle claws to pin down struggling medium-sized prey so that they could start eating right away. Pack-hunting species may have simply weakened the animal together and then started feeding, as the body position of the prey animals' skeletons suggest that they were in death throes as they died.
In 2004 in the human world, a murder case in Germany centred on the accepted fact that the victim, a vorarephile (see above) had actually made contact with a person who shared his interests, only from the opposite direction, and had actually asked to be killed and eaten. The accused, a declared cannibal, obliged in spades. A rather disgusting part of the court transcript revolved around the "first cut" of meat being the penis of the deceased, which the consumer described as "disappointingly tough and stringy".
The mating ritual of the mantis is like this. While the female and male are mating, the female slowly devours the male's head. Despite this, the male is still able to mate with his partner even with his head gone!