Unfortunately for a 13-foot (4-meter) Burmese python in Florida’s Everglades National Park, devouring the enemy appears to have resulted in the ravenous reptile practically ʙᴜsᴛɪɴɢ a ɢᴜᴛ. The d.e.a.d, headless python was discovered in October 2005 by wildlife biologists from the South Florida Natural Resources Center after it allegedly tried to consume a 6-foot-long (2-meter-long) American alligator. A nearly entire ᴅᴇᴄᴇᴀsᴇᴅ gator was discovered protruding out of a hole in the python’s abdomen, and wads of gator skin were discovered in the snake’s gastrointestinal tract.
The horrific finding shows that the python’s fɪᴇʀᴄᴇ last meal was simply too much for it. A computerized reenactment of the python-alligator combat reveals that the python may have survived its big meal, but a second gator intervened and chewed off the snake’s head. According to the new explanation, the python ruptured due to the power of the tussle. Even experts affiliated with the show are skeptical about the new notion.
Wayne King, reptile curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, points to the snake’s rather clean beheading. “Alligators don’t bite off a portion,” he said to McClatchey Newspapers. “They grab a hold of something, then roll and whirl.”
If they take you by the arm, they usually pull the limb off, or if they grab you by the buttocks, they rip a portion of flesh off.” For the past 20 years, clashes between alligators and pythons have been on the rise in the Everglades. Unwanted pet snakes discarded in the marsh have thrived, and the Asian reptile has emerged as a formidable rival in the alligator’s native ecology.
“Clearly, if pythons can k.i.l.l an alligator, they can k.i.l.l other species,” Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife professor at the University of Florida, told the Associated Press. “There was some hope that alligators might be able to manage Burmese pythons. This occurrence suggests to me that it will be a draw.”