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Lurker the Second
05-10-2005, 21:22:50
Well, what think you?

Python Explodes After Eating Alligator

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 5, 2005

Filed at 3:55 p.m. ET

MIAMI (AP) -- Alligators have clashed with nonnative pythons before in Everglades National Park. But when a 6-foot gator tangled with a 13-foot python recently, the result wasn't pretty.

The snake apparently tried to swallow the gator whole -- and then exploded. Scientists stumbled upon the gory remains last week.

The species have battled with increasing frequency -- scientists have documented four encounters in the last three years. The encroachment of Burmese pythons into the Everglades could threaten an $8 billion restoration project and endanger smaller species, said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

The gators have had to share their territory with a python population that has swelled over the past 20 years after owners dropped off pythons they no longer wanted in the Everglades. The Asian snakes have thrived in the wet, hot climate.

''Encounters like that are almost never seen in the wild. ... And we here are, it's happened for the fourth time,'' Mazzotti said. In the other cases, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

''They were probably evenly matched in size,'' Mazzotti said of the latest battle. ''If the python got a good grip on the alligator before the alligator got a good grip on him, he could win.''

While the gator may have been injured before the battle began -- wounds were found on it that apparently were not caused by python bites -- Mazzotti believes it was alive when the battle began. And it may have clawed at the python's stomach as the snake tried to digest it, leading to the blow up.

The python was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection. Its stomach still surrounded the alligator's head, shoulders, and forelimbs. The remains were discovered and photographed Sept. 26 by helicopter pilot and wildlife researcher Michael Barron.

The incident has alerted biologists to new potential dangers from Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

''Clearly, if they can kill an alligator they can kill other species,'' Mazzotti said. ''There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons. ... This indicates to me it's going to be an even draw. Sometimes alligators are going to win and sometimes the python will win.

''It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top down predator,'' Mazzotti said.

Not only can the python kill other reptiles, the snakes will also eat otters, squirrels, endangered woodstorks and sparrows.

While there are thousands of alligators in the Everglades, Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker, said its unknown how many pythons there are.

''We need to set traps and do a proper survey,'' of the snakes, he said. At least 150 have been captured in the last two years.

The problem arises when people buy pets they are not prepared to care for.

''People will buy these tiny little snakes and if you do everything right, they're six-feet tall in one year. They lose their appeal, or the owner becomes afraid of it. There's no zoo or attraction that will take it,'' so they release the snakes into the Everglades.

A reproducing snake can have as many as 100 hatchlings, which explains why the snake population has soared, Wasilewski said.

The Burmese snake problem is just part of a larger issue of nonnative animal populations in South Florida, he said. So many iguanas have been discarded in the region that they are gobbling tropical flowers and causing problems for botanists, Wasilewski said.

A 10- or 20-foot python is also large enough to pose a risk to an unwary human, especially a small child, he added.

''I don't think this is an imminent threat. This is not a 'Be afraid, be very afraid situation.'''

Venom
05-10-2005, 21:27:29
What a titantic battle going on in the everglades now. It's like Watership Down but better.

Lurker the Second
05-10-2005, 21:35:14
Proof that sometimes real life is better than fiction.

That would be some serious heartburn.

Venom
05-10-2005, 21:37:28
We need cameras and play by play crews down there. Steve Irwin needs to get his annoying Aussie ass down there and get double killed.

Gary
05-10-2005, 22:02:35
Mmmm side dish of chopped python to go with the alligator steak.

There's money in them there Everglades

Sir Penguin
05-10-2005, 22:23:45
Python's modularity and dynamic typing will give it a decided advantage.

SP

Venom
05-10-2005, 22:30:44
You god damn dork.

Lurker the Second
05-10-2005, 22:38:05
:lol:

Drekkus
05-10-2005, 23:03:57
Originally posted by Venom
We need cameras and play by play crews down there. Steve Irwin needs to get his annoying Aussie ass down there and get double killed. :lol:

I nearly drove over an alligator in the everglades last summer. I was cruising at 70 mph and smoothly avoiding some large piece of wood on the road, when the piece of wood suddenly came alive and moved away. By the time I had stopped to take a picture, the bastard got away.

Didn't see any pyhtons though.

MoSe
06-10-2005, 09:06:09
did you nearly drive over it OR smoothly avoided it?????

Funko
06-10-2005, 09:34:53
Does the winner meet Shark in the final?

Tizzy
06-10-2005, 09:52:44
I saw a picture of this in the Metro this morning. I spent a good 5 minutes looking at the picture and trying to work out what the hell I was seeing before I read the story.

Funko
06-10-2005, 09:53:17
^ She's not very bright.

MattHiggs
06-10-2005, 09:54:06
Anyone got a link to the picture?

I miss reading the Metro on the way to work :(

Funko
06-10-2005, 09:55:58
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/img/world/0610_croc_a.jpg

Funko
06-10-2005, 09:56:22
More here:

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/slideshow/default.aspx?subsectionid=2999

MattHiggs
06-10-2005, 10:05:19
Impressive!

Tizzy
06-10-2005, 10:06:22
And difficult to work out if you haven't read the story *sulk*

MoSe
06-10-2005, 10:08:53
buy these tiny little snakes and if you do everything right, they're six-feet tall in one year

tall?
for sure Pythons don't stand upright (unless they're named Monty).
they meant 6" long, I reckon

Funko
06-10-2005, 10:10:34
Half snake alligator.... half man?

MoSe
06-10-2005, 10:13:43
suddenly, I have an overwhelming feeling of deja-lu :eek:

mr.G
06-10-2005, 10:25:06
Originally posted by Drekkus
Didn't see any pyhtons though. wanna see mine?

Gary
06-10-2005, 10:26:47
Only if it's been swallowed by an alligator

Tizzy
06-10-2005, 10:27:17
Nope, not even then

Drekkus
06-10-2005, 11:44:57
Originally posted by Sir Penguin
Python's modularity and dynamic typing will give it a decided advantage.

SP You just want to get your snake wet again, don't you?

Venom
06-10-2005, 13:14:49
Dueling threads!

And this one's losing despite it's pollness.

Drekkus
06-10-2005, 13:18:01
polls are for losers

Venom
06-10-2005, 13:25:18
Even a mighty vs poll? I mean, that's more a battle than a poll.

Drekkus
06-10-2005, 14:08:47
the vs. debates can be dealt with without polls

Venom
06-10-2005, 14:13:30
How?

mr.G
06-10-2005, 14:15:09
Wontsay

Venom
06-10-2005, 14:26:36
Fuck Wontsay. He's an asshole.

mr.G
06-10-2005, 14:52:38
yaaaay that's what he tells you