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Sierra Daily

Oct 01, 2010

Alligator/Python Smackdown

Don't say that no one warned you about the giant alien snakes. In January, Sierra's "Woe Is Us" department informed you that

Reticulated pythons, which can exceed 26 feet in length and are "the snake most associated with unprovoked human fatalities in the wild," have been sighted or captured in south Florida, as have various species of anaconda.

The giant snakes either escaped or were released into the wild, and have found the warming climate of south Florida (and soon, perhaps, much of the Southeast) to suit them nicely. And now it's come to this:


In case you can't make out the action here, that is a 13-foot Burmese python having burst after swallowing a 6-foot American alligator. In addition, the snake is headless. Our colleagues at National Geographic News speculate that perhaps a second alligator appeared on the scene and decapitated the snake while it was digesting the first gator, which reappeared amid the general carnage. "There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons," University of Florida wildlife expert Frank Mazzotti told National Geo. "This [event] indicates to me it's going to be an even draw."

--Paul Rauber

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