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Big Burmese Python Breaks Records
The country’s eyes may be on “Shark Week” but residents in Florida are marveling over news that two state records pertaining to snakes have been broken this month.
Scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida (UF) campus are now in possession of a dead 17-foot-7-inch Burmese python-the largest found in the Floridian wilderness. The snake also contained 87 eggs which broke another a state record. The record before had been held by a snake a pathetic 16.8 feet long with only 85 eggs.
This new record-breaking python is 164.5 pounds and is on loan to the museum from Everglades National Park to be studied by scientists as part of an ongoing joint project with the Department of the Interior to find methods to manage the invasive python-before it takes over the local ecosystem and eats the native wildlife into extinction.
After the research is completed the snake will be mounted as part of a five year exhibit at the museum and then returned to the Everglades National Park for exhibition there.
"A 17.5-foot snake could eat anything it wants," Florida Museum herpetology collection manager Kenneth Krysko said. "By learning what this animal has been eating and its reproductive status, it will hopefully give us insight into how to potentially manage other wild Burmese pythons in the future. It also highlights the actual problem, which is invasive species."
This healthy snake was found with feathers in its stomach meaning it had been snacking on birds but the python will also eat deer, bobcats, and alligators.
"They were here 25 years ago, but in very low numbers and it was difficult to find one because of their cryptic behavior," Krysko said. "Now, you can go out to the Everglades nearly any day of the week and find a Burmese python. We've found 14 in a single day."
Python molurus bivittatus was introduced to the United States when people began collecting them as pets imported from their native and current range in Southeast Asia.
In March the The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed four large non-native snakes, including the Burmese python, as injurious species under the Lacey Act. This means it is now illegal to transport a live Burmese python into the United States.
The University of Florida has had excellent luck with snakes and beginning in January the “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” exhibit will open at the museum featuring a full-scale model of Titanoboa cerrejonensis. The giant snake’s fossil was found in a Colombian coal mine, now known for harboring the fossils of giant creatures, by UF scientists in 2005.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.