Thursday, 25 February 2010

Meet hungry Alligator And Python

An alligator in the Everglades eats a python. ''Alligators are going to chew them up 99 percent of the time,'' a reptile expert says.
The fight rages on in the Florida Everglades. So far, the first three rounds have gone to the alligator, with documented film footage of the struggle between these two reptiles and with the snake being eaten at the end of the fray. Not so, with the most recent struggle, in which a 13 foot python swallowed a 6 foot alligator. The end result was the death of both predators, when the snake split open after swallowing the alligator whole.

There are currently two conflicting theories of what occured during this most recent episode, since no one actually witnessed the encounter. One theory is that the alligator somehow managed to claw or bite its way through the side of the snake after being swallowed. This seems unlikely as the alligator was most certainly dead prior to being swallowed. Thepython is a constrictor which suffocates it's prey prior to eating it.

Theory number two is that the snake, after swallowing it's large meal, was lethargic and easy prey for a second gator to come along and take a bite out of the snake, thus releasing it's fellow reptile from being digested. The snake was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection (see attached photo).

What's troubling about these encounters is that the Burmese pythons invoved, were relatively small, only in the range of 10 to 13 feet. The Burmesepython has been known to grow up to 30 feet in length, in it's native Southeast Asia and is a documented man eater at this size, as well. In addition, it is now verified that there is a sizeable breeding population of these formidable snakes in the everglades. It is literally, only a matter of time before larger pythons are encountered. They are destined to become the top of the food chain in the everglades, to the detriment of the native species, including, American alligators, American crocodiles, panthers and skunk apes.
Not only do these gigantic snakes pose a threat to Florida's natural wildlife, but to humans as well. There is evidence of these snakes moving into suburban Miami, as well as north into other areas of Florida. They are basically able to thrive in any area which supports alligators, climatewise. It is now estimated that there is a population of over 30,000 Burmese pythons in the everglades alone.
Research has shown that other exotic species, such as boa constrictors and yellow anacondas are also showing-up in the everglades, thanks to the exotic pet trade and individuals releasing their pet snakes into the South Florida wilds.

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