Burmese Pythons in the Everglades

1599 WordsApr 13, 20127 Pages
Lucy Dobson Dr. Amy Amendt-Raduege English 102 2/5/11 Python Molurus Bivatlus One misty morning in 2003, deep under the cover of the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, a group of tourists set out for a day of exploration in the Everglades. They hoped to see some of the diverse and unique species that the Everglades are famous for, and maybe snap a few cool pictures to show their friends. They could never have anticipated what they would actually discover. A short way into their trek, the party was drawn to a noisy struggle nearby. They followed their ears to a duel between an alligator and a huge Burmese Python. The alligator clamped his jaws around the snake. The snake wrapped its body around the alligator. The tourists…show more content…
The Burmese Python is one of the most invasive of these non-native species. The snakes originate from Southeast Asia, so they thrive in Florida’s similar environment. The Everglades became sort of a paradise to the pythons, since their introduction in the early 1990’s. A female Burmese Python will lay up to 207 eggs at once. Inside her nest, she will coil her body around the eggs to maintain a temperature of about ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Incubation takes around two months. The python has only just recently been observed engaging in shivering thermo genesis for the first time outside of captivity. This is the production of body heat through muscle contractions. The mother snake does this to raise the temperature of her nest and eggs- the warmer the incubation, the quicker they will hatch, and slither free throughout the forest, carrying on its destructive path. With this sort of reproduction, it’s no wonder they’re so easily taking over the Everglades. Dobson 4 One of the first big releases of the Burmese Python in Florida took place in 1992. Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane, took down a large snake importer’s warehouse, as well as causing many billions of dollars of damage. Each year, Miami receives 12,000 exotic pet shipments, many of which are the Burmese Python. A person who takes in a 20-inch baby python might be understandably surprised when it becomes a 12-foot, 200
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