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Old 10-05-2005, 09:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alligator vs Snake - Who wins?

Was originally from Fark.com and I just had to post it here.

Linky

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Miami Herald
It's alien versus predator in Glades creature clash

A giant exotic snake's fatal mistake of trying to swallow an alligator has provided scientists with strange new evidence that pythons are continuing to spread in the Everglades.

BY CURTIS MORGAN

cmorgan@herald.com

A meeting between two of the largest and fiercest predators in the Everglades -- a Burmese python and an American alligator -- ended in a scene as rare as it was bizarre.

The 13-foot-snake and six-foot gator both wound up dead, locked so gruesomely it is hard to make heads, tails or any other body part of either creature.

When the carcasses were found last week in an isolated marsh in Everglades National Park, the gator's tail and hind legs protruded from the ruptured gut of a python -- which had swallowed it whole.

As an added touch of the macabre, the snake's head was missing.

For scientists, exactly how the clash occurred is a compelling curiosity. More importantly, the latest and most extraordinary encounter provides disturbing evidence that giant exotic snakes, which can top 20 feet in length and kill by squeezing the life out of prey, have not only invaded the Everglades but could challenge the native gator for a perch atop the food chain.

''It's just off-the-charts absurd to think that this kind of animal, a significant top-of-the-pyramid kind of predator in its native land, is trying to make a living in South Florida,'' said park biologist Skip Snow, who has been tracking the spread of the snakes.

Pythons, likely abandoned by pet owners, have been seen in the Everglades since the 1980s. But in the past two years alone, Snow has documented 156 python captures, a surge that has convinced biologists the snakes are multiplying in the wild.

The growing population of big, scary predators also raises questions about threats to native species and whether anything indigenous -- gators, for starters -- might be capable of consuming and potentially controlling one of the world's largest snake species.

The latest find was spotted floating in a spike rush marsh in the Shark River Slough on Sept. 26 by Michael Barron, a helicopter pilot flying park researchers to tree islands. It was examined the next day by Snow.

The discovery was important for a number of reasons.

LIVING ANYWHERE

For one, it showed the snakes are capable of living anywhere in the Everglades, Snow said. Most earlier finds have been on park fringes, roads or parking lots.

''This is the first we have documented Burmese pythons really in the heart of the slough,'' Snow said.

It also confirmed that snakes and gators, while typically consuming less troublesome mammals, turtles and birds, have an appetite for each other -- at least when the opportunity presents itself.

The first observed encounter in the park occurred three years ago when awestruck onlookers at the popular Anhinga Trail boardwalk witnessed a tussle between a 10- to 15-foot snake and six- to nine-foot gator. That fight, which lasted an estimated 24 hours, ended in an apparent draw, with both swimming off and vanishing.

Earlier this year, Snow documented a gator killing and consuming a python. The latest encounter showed that a hungry adult snake can eat a sizable gator.

Such clashes, though spawned by damaging incursion by an exotic species, can't help but fascinate both the public and scientists, said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor and expert on crocodiles and gators in the Glades.

''We've got not only two big things, but two charismatic mega-fauna -- the Burmese python, invader of the Everglades, and the American alligator, monarch of the Everglades,'' he said.

Mazzotti said size would probably dictate which species would win most encounters, and scientists could only speculate why this one ended in double deaths.

Snow's detailed field notes provide some evidence the snake was the attacker -- there were wounds on the gator's head and ''large wads of alligator skin'' in what remained of the snake's digestive tract.

ASKING THE EXPERTS

He was so intrigued that he e-mailed photos and notes to other experts around the country.

So far, several theories abound, none of them pretty and all speculative because once on the scene, Snow quickly abandoned plans to load the bloated, badly decomposed carcasses on the chopper.

''We decided there was no way we were going to do that,'' he said. ``Something was going to go wrong and it was going to be nasty.''

Instead, he performed a ''floating'' necropsy in the water.

While unusual, it's not unheard of for a snake to consume prey that proves too hard or large to digest. Things like claws, hooves or bones can damage the snake's internal organs. The bulk of a victim can put pressure on the snake's lungs, essentially suffocating it from within.

Slowed by the extra weight, the snake might have been attacked by another gator, which could explain a missing python head.

Joe Wasilewski, a South Miami-Dade biologist and expert gator and crocodile tracker, examined the photos and surmised the gator wasn't quite dead when the snake swallowed it snout-first.

That's not uncommon, he said. ''That [gator] could have been kicking its hind legs and ruptured the snake's stomach wall,'' Wasilewski said.

DEAD MOVES

Mazzotti said a similar scenario could have happened even if the gator were dead because of a quirk of its nervous system. Until a gator's spinal cord is severed and literally stirred into jelly with a special tool, he said, ``a dead alligator gives a remarkably good imitation of being alive. One of the things they do is they move their legs like they're walking. Those claws are pretty sharp. It could tear through the [snake's] skin.''

Mazzotti said it's also plausible the snake scavenged a dead gator. Then time, decay and heat could explain what happened next: a nasty blowout of the snake body.

''You've got a deteriorating carcass, you've got a buildup of gases, you've got sharp claw points . . . ,'' he said.

Snow said a few wags even suggested the deaths were weird enough to fit into the plot of the new TV series Invasion, which involves aliens descending into the Everglades from strange lights during a hurricane.

The carcasses were found a week after the show debuted, he said. ``I've heard some jokes that maybe it was the lights.''
Here's some pictures since the one from the article is too small







This is really surreal, kinda reminds me of the battle between tiger and the alligator thread awhile back.
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Um. What the hell? That is really scary. So, the snake was swallowing the gator when the gator busted out?
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siege
Um. What the hell? That is really scary. So, the snake was swallowing the gator when the gator busted out?
Yeah, I was reading some of the comments on Fark and one of the theories (The only one that made sense) was that the gator was dead but its nerves system was still firing up, so once the snake ate the gator, the leg twitched and considering that the snake ate the whole gator, it was pretty stretched out along with the fact that gator's legs are pretty sharp too.
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelgood
Yeah, I was reading some of the comments on Fark and one of the theories (The only one that made sense) was that the gator was dead but its nerves system was still firing up, so once the snake ate the gator, the leg twitched and considering that the snake ate the whole gator, it was pretty stretched out along with the fact that gator's legs are pretty sharp too.
Well that theory was actually in the article its self not from a farker, but thats besides the point.

When I saw this on fark today I thought it was the coolest thing of the day, that was until I later saw this:
Quote:
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish hunter was knocked unconscious after his son shot a flying Canada goose which then fell onto his head, news agency TT reported Wednesday.
hehe
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There's something really gross about the pictures that made me nearly vomit. I still gag a little everytime I see it....

Kinda interesting to learn " a hungry adult snake can eat a sizable gator." I was always under the impression that the gator would always kill the snake unless it was at a disadvantage in size substantially.

Now I wanna see a 30ft Amazon anaconda take on a 20ft African croc. Any speculations on this one???
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Clearly, the animal that ate the python's head is the winner.
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah this was all over the news here yesterday. Apparantly people are throwing their pet snakes into the everglades when they get too big and the snakes can kill and eat the native alligator. It kinda sucks for alligators since now they have competition. People are being very irresponsible, but then again why shoudl that change now. Maybe I'll start a new thread to see what people have to say about irrespnsible pet owners. LIke the ones that let their dog shit in your yard and then don't pick it up. Oh well Maybe we can just keep useing this thread
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's just awesome. And frightening. Despite the theories, it's obvious that this snake swallowed the freaking gator whole. That's still amazing to me. Not a rat, cat, dog, pig, etc.. a freaking GATOR. I would suspect though that like the article suggested, it was likely attacked by another gator and that was the ultimate death of the snake.

Still though, now it's not only gators wandering onto the golf course that Floridian's have to worry about. It's giant gator eating pythons hiding in the glades as well. Creepy.
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The ninja won

This reminds me of the pics of a snake after it ate someone, I'll save you all the horror and not post them.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeraph
This reminds me of the pics of a snake after it ate someone, I'll save you all the horror and not post them.
Thank you very much. Are you saying the person managed to bust out part-way?
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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No, they found the snake with a human like bulge, killed it, and cut it open.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Joy. I'm SO glad I wasn't there.
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Old 10-06-2005, 12:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This isn't uncommon with very large snakes, happens when they eat animals with horns etc too. They swallow them and then rupture.

The real question is who wins, Pirates vrs. Ninjas.
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Old 10-06-2005, 04:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Pythons, ninjas... pshaw. I win.
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Old 10-07-2005, 05:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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For the last time. We win...

Alligator boots:



Python Boots:

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Old 10-07-2005, 06:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It's all over the papers man

Dad bought a Chinese newspaper just because the picture is on the front, not knowing that our subscribed English paper has the story too -.-""
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My only thought when I saw the story was "My God that is a HUGE freakin snake, and I wouldn't want to meet that in the back alleys". It swallowed a gator bigger than a man, and the snake itself was still (based on looking at the pictures) at least 2, and probably three times longer/bigger than that. Holy crap!
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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That is one badass motherfuckin' snake to eat an alligator (even if it made him explode). Play time was over. Cancelled. Due to inclement weather.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrocloud
For the last time. We win...

Alligator boots:

Those are some pretty wicked boots.. and I'm not even a "cowboy" boot person. Never worn them in my life, and probably never will wear them, but those alligator boots are pretty badass looking. I like the scale effect on the front of them.

I had to go find how much they cost ... found 'em here :
http://caboots.zoovy.com/category/12h/

They are the Alligator Tail Motorcycle Boots
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Last edited by Spanxxx; 10-07-2005 at 02:12 PM..
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