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Invasion of the Giant Pythons

The Everglades are famous for reptilian predators of their own – alligators. Can the pythons muscle in on even these giants? To attract mates and deter rivals males generate such low-loud roars, the water around them dances.

Alligators were once the undisputed reptile kings of the Everglades but when push comes to shove, who would win a battle now? Alligator or python? It all depends on which one is bigger. A large gator can bite down with over two thousand pounds of force.

A well aimed bite on a python’s head kills it almost instantly. But the alligator has bitten off more than it can chew. The snake is too large to swallow. Stashing the serpent underwater will allow the gator to return to bite off chunks, once the flesh has rotted.

Big gators certainly kill pythons but the tables can be turned. Pythons begin with a lightening fast strike. This one grabbed a gator with its razor sharp teeth. Lacking venom, it had to use muscle power to kill its victim. New research has shown that as a snake’s coils tighten they cause a sharp rise the prey’s blood pressure. So the alligator is as likely to have died from burst blood vessels as suffocation.

Snake skin is so flexible it can be stretched around the largest of meals without tearing, even a tough armored alligator. In a matter of days, powerful stomach acid will completely dissolve the meal. This is an incredible feat, the python has swallowed and alligator half as large as itself.

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