Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says
24 June 2012 at 12:44 pm
You better be careful while eating, PZ.
24 June 2012 at 12:59 pm
Jebus pops for dessert?
24 June 2012 at 1:06 pm
Glen Davidson says
24 June 2012 at 1:15 pm
Claws add a certain zing to one’s meal.
24 June 2012 at 1:16 pm
Not so much a joke in reality, when the science shows those pythons have destroyed mammal population in the Everglades. Raccoons, opossum, bobcats and foxes, all gone.
When even the folks in my quilting group know about the python’s devastation, you know it’s a real concern.
Interesting article on the Nature Conservancy’s program to stop the invasion: train and organize snake spotters and responders.
24 June 2012 at 1:38 pm
@5: I hope that the photographer didn’t just let a python that big get away?
24 June 2012 at 2:26 pm
What, just because some lazy, untalented animals can’t compete in an open market, we’re going to start abusing the poor pythons? What are you, some sort of COMMUNIST?
24 June 2012 at 2:56 pm
They speeded it up? I thought Youtube allowed 10-hour videos now.
24 June 2012 at 3:05 pm
Is there any realistic chance that the Nature Conservancy’s program can work? Have we ever eliminated a invasive species in an area where it thrives and has a toehold? And without introducing other invasive species that we come to regret just as much?
I suspect the Burmese python is now a feature of the everglades every bit as obdurate as kudzu in the American south.
TGAP Dad says
24 June 2012 at 5:31 pm
And if you thought the Burmese pythons were bad…I give you the African Rock Python, Florida’s newest slithering friend! Next to him, the Burmese is as innocuous as a teddy bear. Makes me glad I live up north, where these things can’t (for now) survive.
24 June 2012 at 5:44 pm
Erm – how is the alligator still alive and kicking, when its head is 3 feet inside a snake?
Can alligators breathe out of their arse?
24 June 2012 at 5:57 pm
Alligators can go without a breath for half an hour or more.
If that gator is smart, it will squirm and crawl right out of the other end of that python’s digestive track. ;-)
24 June 2012 at 6:31 pm
>Alligators can go without a breath for half an hour or more.
Perhaps when their metabolism is at its slowest resting point, but certainly not during a life and death struggle.
24 June 2012 at 7:48 pm
Another example of an all-loving, benificent god who just happens to get its ghouly rocks off witnessing countless incidents of pain every minute of every day world without end amen. With this kind of all-lovin’ and merciful god, who needs a devil?
24 June 2012 at 8:14 pm
If God is Omnipotent, then there is nothing the Devil can do that is without God’s tacit approval.
Looked at in this way, Satan/ the Devil is but an aspect of God the Almighty.
Lucky for humans, the being we imagine to be responsible for all the evil we see is indeed imaginary.
24 June 2012 at 9:19 pm
I wouldn’t bet on that.
24 June 2012 at 11:42 pm
Is there any realistic chance that the Nature Conservancy’s program can work?
Have we ever eliminated a invasive species in an area where it thrives and has a toehold? And without introducing other invasive species that we come to regret just as much?
Yes, we have.
Feral pigs have been eliminated from at least one national park by a program of fencing the park boundaries and then intensive hunting of all the pigs inside the fence.
Golden eagles took over the top spot as predators in the Channel Islands after DDT destroyed the bald eagle population there. But golden eagles preyed on the native island fox, which the bald eagles had previously left alone, and drove the foxes almost to extinction. A three-pronged program of reintroducing bald eagles, captive breeding and release of foxes, and trapping and relocating goldens inland has returned the island fox to something like normal prevalence.
So it can be done.
But what the successful programs seem to have is the ability (by virtue of isolation/fencing) to prevent outer remnants of the invasive species from re-invading the area. Florida in general and the Everglades in specific won’t have that isolation, so they may not be able to clear pythons and keep them cleared out.
Maybe. They could be eradicated statewide but it would require a major commitment of resources.
And it would require the pet-snake industry to stop being part of the problem. No surprise, they refuse to self regulate and are suing the federal government over what they claim are unfair regulations on python sales and transportation across state lines.
25 June 2012 at 1:28 am
Watching that makes me gag!
25 June 2012 at 3:54 am
I dont think the gator is alive – would you swallow something that could rip your guts open with its claws?
Its hard to tell from the speeded up video but the movement in the lower abdomen that looks like breathing is probaly due to air in the gators lungs being forced down by pressure at its head and chest.
The feet kicking is due to similar pressure and other mechanical manipulation or post mortem twitches.
25 June 2012 at 5:31 am
“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”
Seriously, how does the python even digest such a meal?
25 June 2012 at 5:37 am
Clearly his mum didn’t tell him about bolting his food. He’ll get indigestion, for sure…
25 June 2012 at 6:52 am
Wafer thin mint sir?
25 June 2012 at 7:55 am
What I wonder is, is that a really small gator, or a terrifyingly huge python? The former, I hope.
25 June 2012 at 8:49 am
Well, in a disgusting way. But still cool.
25 June 2012 at 8:51 am
Thank you for those examples, hotshoe.
But what the successful programs seem to have is the ability (by virtue of isolation/fencing) to prevent outer remnants of the invasive species from re-invading the area.
That does seem to be key.
Gvlgeologist, FCD says
25 June 2012 at 10:46 am
My plan for the elimination of invasive spp. is to find them useful for something, then make it illegal to harvest them. It doesn’t even have to be true.
Air pototoes? If you smoke them, you get high.
Pythons fed off of Everglades animals? Delicious. And their hides make great belts/shoes/purses/hats/etc.
Sea lampreys in the midwest? Great leather (I think that may even be true).
Just watch the numbers drop.
25 June 2012 at 2:05 pm
D’you want fries with that?
25 June 2012 at 4:21 pm
“My plan for the elimination of invasive spp. is to find them useful for something”
It’s been tried with the destructive South American nutria in Louisiana. The state’s famous chefs were challenged to create a tasty recipe for nutria such as the one that was so delicious it nearly led to the extermination of the red drum (“Blackened Redfish”).
The cunning plan was a sad failure: not even Chef Paul could make the nasty things fit to eat. This could have been foreseen by noticing that not even the Cajuns living in the nutrias’ preferred habitat bother to eat them. If Cajuns can’t make it taste good, it ain’t edible.
tierra de antilopes says
27 June 2012 at 7:14 pm
…and all the time I kept imagining the alligator starting to eat the python from the inside, to finally emerge triumphant in all his reptilian glory…
Maybe next time.