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Burmese and Indian Pythons Breeding, Creating New Species

What do you get when you cross a Burmese python and an Indian python?

A South Florida python.

That is according to the United States Geological Survey, which is a scientific agency of the United States government.

The USGS surveyed around 400 Burmese pythons. It found that 13 of them were actually a new species.

How will this new species impact you?

Well, Burmese pythons are mostly found in wetland areas. The invasive species was originally native to Asia.

In small numbers, it has been reproducing in Everglades National Park since the 1980s.

In 1992, the Burmese python became a nuisance in Florida after Hurricane Andrew. The category 5 hurricane toppled a reptile breeding facility, releasing hundreds of them into the wild.

Indian pythons prefer drier areas and higher ground. They are smaller than Burmese pythons, yet are just as destructive to the ecosystem, being a species that is on the top of the food chain.

Florida Everglades National Park The interbreeding may have created a new breed that has the best traits of both invasive species. It is likely that the South Florida python might want to live in both areas, according to scientists at the government agency.

The python evolution could further complicate the natural order of the ecosystem as other species adapt to its presence.

Everglades National Park has volunteers and state contracted python hunters that hunt the invasive species. It may become more difficult to kill the South Florida python as these 120 hunters adjust to the new species.

Read the full study here .

Photo courtesy of the Florida Wildlife Commission

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