Like a boomerang, relocated python comes back again | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Like a boomerang, relocated python comes back again

Invasive Burmese snakes show homing ability

12:06pm, March 19, 2014

SNAKE MOVES  Burmese pythons turn out to have fine navigation skills — not good news for people trying to control their spread in South Florida. This female had grown to 5.4 meters (17 feet, 7 inches) long and was carrying 87 eggs when she was captured in 2012.

Burmese pythons need no GPS to find their way home. The enormous snakes that have invaded South Florida turn out to be determined and able navigators, with unexpected homing abilities.

Since at least 1995, Python molurus bivittatus snakes have been breeding in Everglades National Park, and for nearly as long, people have worried about how to get rid of them (SN: 2/25/12, p 5). The pythons can grow to be 5.5 meters long and robust enough to tangle with alligators and swallow the occasional adult deer. They also eat many small mammals including the endangered Key Largo woodrat.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News