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Biologists hunt invasive pythons in Fla.

By Sheba     Dec 17, 2006 in Environment
The Burmese python — Python molurus bivittatus — has come to the Everglades by way of the burgeoning, global trade in exotic pets, creatures of many kinds shipped to America legally and distributed through pet shops and flea markets.
The Burmese python, one of the six biggest snakes, does not possess fangs and is not venomous. Rather, it is a sit-and-wait ambush hunter of the first order.Typically it bites prey with six rows of needle-sharp, back-curving teeth, which dig deeper when its target tries to pull away. It then coils itself around its victim, squeezes the life out of it, and swallows it whole. Its stomach acids quickly dissolve even bone...
This python has become a menace to the fragile wild life in the Everglades. It feeds on practically anything warm blooded. However it particularly likes to feed on raccoons, possums, muskrats and native cotton rats — which are already under attack, as are birds such as the house wren, pied-billed grebe, white ibis and limpkin.
In the wild Phthons can reach 20ft. in length and weight over 200lbs. Their population in the Everglades seem to be on the rise as the stats indicate. In 2003 only 23 were caught, in 2004, 70 with 95 in 2005 and 154 this year and still counting.
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