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Photos: Giant Pythons Invade Everglades

Lengthy Python

The longest Burmese python found in Florida was carrying 87 eggs.

(Image credit: University of Florida photo by Kristen Grace/Florida Museum of Natural History)

Once the scientists have finished examining the huge Burmese python, the snake will be mounted for exhibition at the Florida Museum of Natural History for about five years, and then returned for exhibition at Everglades National Park.

Looking Inside a Python

The longest Burmese python found in Florida was carrying 87 eggs.

(Image credit: University of Florida photo by Kristen Grace/Florida Museum of Natural History)

Researchers prepare to examine the insides of a 17-foot-7-inch Burmese python found in Florida's Everglades. The lengthy python, weighing some 164 pounds, was carrying 87 eggs in its oviducts, they found. (Photo from Aug. 10, 2012)

Holy Herpetology!

The longest Burmese python found in Florida was carrying 87 eggs.

(Image credit: University of Florida photo by Kristen Grace/Florida Museum of Natural History)

University of Florida herpetologist Kenneth Krysko displays eggs found in the largest Burmese python from Florida to date. Photo taken Aug. 10, 2012.

Alligator and Python

Alligator and Python

(Image credit: National Park Service)

Several predatory interactions between Burmese pythons and alligators have been documented in Everglades National Park.

Burmese python

Burmese python in Everglades

(Image credit: National Park Service)

Burmese pythons, such as this one, have been found to consume a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, wood storks and Key Largo woodrats.

python with tracker

python with tracker

(Image credit: National Park Service)

Tagged pythons can be tracked using radio telemetry on the ground or via aircraft. Seeking out tagged specimens can lead researchers to areas where additional pythons may be recovered.

python with tracker

python with tracker

(Image credit: Lori Oberhofer)

To learn more about their habits and behaviors, some captured pythons have been surgically implanted with tracking tags and re-released into the wild.

Burmese python

Burmese python

(Image credit: Michael Barron)

Evidence also suggests larger pythons may be capable of successfully consuming large predators of the Everglades.

Burmese python

Burmese python in park

(Image credit: National Park Service)

Large Burmese pythons are now regularly encountered along trails and visitor areas in the park.

Python molurus bivittatus

Python molurus bivittatus

(Image credit: Chris Gillette)

Python molurus bivittatus.

Burmese python

Burmese python

(Image credit: Lori Oberhofer)

Nonnative Burmese pythons can compete directly with other top predators in the Everglades ecosystem, such as this American alligator.