Here Come the Super Snakes
A new dangerous “super snake” could start to emerge from deep in the swampy marshes and invade dry land, according to a study. Researchers found a previously unknown subspecies, believed to be a crossbreed between Burmese and Indian pythons, which appears to be slithering around in Florida, the Miami Herald reported.
The study published in the Ecology and Evolution journal Sunday discovered the “super snakes” while examining the tail tissue of 400 pythons captured in the Everglades. “We were initially looking for the population structure to get some information to shed some light on the invasion dynamics, or the core areas where the population may be breeding and then sending off migrants,” lead author Margaret Hunter told the Miami Herald.
Most of the snakes were Burmese, which prefer swamps, but around a dozen were also related to the Indian pythons typically found writhing along high, dry ground.
Well, species diversity is a good thing, right? What could possibly go wrong?
The “unexpected” findings suggest this new subspecies could start to take up residence beyond the swampy marshes of the Everglades. “If the Indian pythons have a wider range, perhaps these Everglades snakes now have that capability,” Hunter said. “It’s quite interesting and quite surprising, but we don’t know the extent it’s in the population.”
I guess we'll find out when pets, small children, and little old ladies start disappearing.