It seems venison was on the menu for a massive python in the Florida Everglades.
Animal experts in Florida have revealed they came across a gigantic Burmese python with an even bigger appetite while researching a study. So hungry was the snake that it went back for seconds and thirds, ᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ a doe and two fawns, researchers determined.
The Burmese python is one of the largest species of snakes. This ᴋɪʟʟᴇʀ reptile is native to a large area of Southeast Asia but is an introduced species in Florida, stretched almost 16-feet and weighed 105 pounds.
It is a sit-and-wait ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ, meaning it spends most of its time staying relatively still, waiting for ᴘʀᴇʏ to approach, then sᴛʀɪᴋɪɴɢ rapidly. The snake grabs a ᴘʀᴇʏ animal with its sharp teeth, then wraps its body around the animal to ᴋɪʟʟ it through ᴄᴏɴsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ.
The digestive response of Burmese pythons to such large ᴘʀᴇʏ has made them a model species for digestive physiology. Its sit-and-wait ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ style is characterized by long fasting periods in between meals, with Burmese pythons typically feeding every month or two, but sometimes fasting for as long as 18 months. In this case, the python fasted for 3 months to wait for a large ᴘʀᴇʏ is completely understandable.
Dickinson College associate professor in biology Scott Boback, the man led a team of experts in studying the animal after it had been ᴄᴀᴜɢʜᴛ and ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ by wildlife officials said the find raises questions about the reptiles. “If a python is capable of ᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ three deer in three months what else are they ᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ that we don’t know about. We don’t even know how many of them are out there,” Boback said.
The professor guessed that the python was likely hiding in the water when it ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋᴇᴅ three deer. When all three animals came to the water to drink, the snake took that opportunity, forcefully rushing into action.
Researchers found 14 pounds of fecal matter containing hair, bones, teeth, and hooves inside the snake’s intestine. After examining the undigested remains, experts said it appeared as though the animals would have been aged about one year, one month, and two weeks old.
Boback said the ꜰᴇʀᴏᴄɪᴏᴜs animal once ate a number of smaller to medium sized animals throughout the Everglades.