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World’s largest snake now calls the U.S. home

Stashed in: Reptiles!, Florida!, Florida, Reptiles

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Yet another reason to avoid murky water in Florida. You have been warned!!!

So... snakes love Florida?

<heavy sigh>

The Problem with Large Predator Snakes Generalist predators, such as all of the giant snakes, are considered to be a greater threat as invaders: no matter where they find themselves, they are likely to locate suitable prey. They are also more likely to cause the extinction of at-risk species, since they can thrive on alternate prey as they drive the vulnerable prey to extinction.

Giant constrictors share a number of additional traits that either increase the severity of likely ecological impacts or confound control and eradication efforts. Among other things, these snake species

  1. grow rapidly to a large size (some individuals of these species surpass 20 ft in length and weigh more than 200 lbs);
  2. are habitat generalists (they can live in many kinds of habitats, and some species have behaviors that allow them to escape freezing temperatures);
  3. are arboreal (tree-dwelling) when young (puts birds and arboreal mammals at risk and provides another avenue for quick dispersal);
  4. are tolerant of urbanization (can live in urban/suburban areas);
  5. are well-concealed “sit-and-wait” predators (difficult to detect, difficult to trap due to infrequent movements between hiding places);
  6. mature rapidly and produce many offspring (females can store sperm and fertilize their eggs—which in some of these snakes can number more than 100—when conditions are favorable for bearing young);
  7. achieve high population densities (leading to greater impact on native wildlife); and
  8. serve as potential hosts for parasites and diseases of economic and human health significance.

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