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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Python vs Gator

Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator
By DENISE KALETTE, Associated Press Writer
34 minutes ago

MIAMI - The alligator has some foreign competition at the top of the Everglades food chain, and the results of the struggle are horror-movie messy.

A 13-foot Burmese python recently burst after it apparently tried to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole, authorities said.

The incident has heightened biologists' fears that the nonnative snakes could threaten a host of other animal species in the Everglades.

"It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top-down predator," said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

Over the years, many pythons have been abandoned in the Everglades by pet owners.

The gory evidence of the latest gator-python encounter the fourth documented in the past three years was discovered and photographed last week by a helicopter pilot and wildlife researcher.

The snake was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection. Mazzotti said the alligator may have clawed at the python's stomach as the snake tried to digest it.

In previous incidents, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

"There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons," Mazzotti said. "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 is unknown how many pythons are competing with the thousands of alligators in the Everglades, but at least 150 have been captured in the past two years, said Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker.

Pythons could threaten many smaller species that conservationists are trying to protect, including other reptiles, otters, squirrels, woodstorks and sparrows, Mazzotti said.

Wasilewski said a 10- or 20-foot python also could pose a risk to an unwary human, especially a child. He added, however, "I don't think this is an imminent threat. This is not a `Be afraid, be very afraid' situation.'"


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:48 PM
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Re: Python vs Gator

lol heyyy um lady....your kid got eaten by a snake. lol.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:53 PM
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Re: Python vs Gator

This is great... *in addition to some of the current college football team mascots in Florida (Gators, Seminoles, Hurricanes), they'll soon have a team known as the "Pythons".

[quote author=crazyduckme link=topic=177063.msg3770321#msg3770321 date=1282314647]
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Python vs Gator

not pics of the battle above, but...



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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Python vs Gator



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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Python vs Gator

but after doing a little research i did find a pic of the battle aftermath



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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Python vs Gator

Mazzotti said size would probably dictate which species would win most encounters, and scientists could only speculate why this one ended in double deaths.

Snow's detailed field notes provide some evidence the snake was the attacker -- there were wounds on the gator's head and ''large wads of alligator skin'' in what remained of the snake's digestive tract.

While unusual, it's not unheard of for a snake to consume prey that proves too hard or large to digest. Things like claws, hooves or bones can damage the snake's internal organs. The bulk of a victim can put pressure on the snake's lungs, essentially suffocating it from within.

Slowed by the extra weight, the snake might have been attacked by another gator, which could explain a missing python head.

Joe Wasilewski, a South Miami-Dade biologist and expert gator and crocodile tracker, examined the photos and surmised the gator wasn't quite dead when the snake swallowed it snout-first.

That's not uncommon, he said. ''That [gator] could have been kicking its hind legs and ruptured the snake's stomach wall,'' Wasilewski said.

Mazzotti said a similar scenario could have happened even if the gator were dead because of a quirk of its nervous system. Until a gator's spinal cord is severed and literally stirred into jelly with a special tool, he said, ``a dead alligator gives a remarkably good imitation of being alive. One of the things they do is they move their legs like they're walking. Those claws are pretty sharp. It could tear through the [snake's] skin.''


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 11:42 PM
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Re: Python vs Gator

On a smaller scale, a pic I took myself:


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 12:56 AM
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Re: Python vs Gator

snakes are very weird creatures
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 08:47 AM
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Re: Python vs Gator

fuqing snakes... they're some ugly ass, slimey SOBs. I've encounter one once before... it was a garden snake hahaha.



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