Fatal mistake: giant snakes eats alligator
The National Park Service released photos that show the carcass of an American alligator that was almost swallowed by a Burmese python.
Park officials discovered the animal carcasses in a remote part of Everglades National Park, in south Miami-Dade, Florida, on Monday, Sept. 26, 2005. It appears that the 13-foot long Burmese python attempted to swallow the six-foot alligator before its stomach ruptured, resulting in the deaths of both animals.
American alligators are native to the Everglades, while the Burmese python is not. Like many other alien species in Florida, the Burmese python today has an established populations in Florida’s wildlands, where is eats native species and causes ecological damage.
Michael Barron of the National Park Service took this picture of a carcass of an alligator as it protrudes out from the body of a dead Burmese python in Everglades National Park, Florida.
The origin of Burmese pythons in Florida habitats is the international pet trade — more than 144,000 Burmese pythons have been imported to the U.S. in the past five years. The snake, usually sold for less than $20 when young, grow quickly and can attain a length of 20 feet. Many pet owners release their snakes go in the wild well before they reach this size.
The economic cost of invasive species in the U.S. is estimated at $137 billion a year, according to a study by Cornell University in 1999. The study also found that approximately 50,000 non-native (non-indigenous) species have been introduced into the United States and that 42% of the species on the Threatened or Endangered species lists are at risk primarily because of non-indigenous species.
Michael Barron of the National Park Service took this photograph that shows the carcass of an alligator as it protrudes out to the right from the curved body of a dead Burmese python in Everglades National Park, Florida. Image courtesy of NPS. The snake’s head is pointing towards the top of the image, while the alligator’s tail faces to the right.
Handout photo released on October 6, 2005 by Everglades National Park shows a dead Burmese python which had apparently swallowed an American alligator. Wildlife biologists found the Burmese python with the hind quarters of a dead American alligator protruding from the snakes mid-section on September 27, 2005. The stomach of the python still surrounded the head, shoulders, and forelimbs of the alligator. The alligator measured 98 cm snout-vent length (SVL), with a total length (TL) of 194 cm, or about 6 feet 4 inches. Everglades National Park/Handout