Found recently in South Florida, these new hybrid pythons are stronger than their non hybrid relatives, and the scary part is they seem to be extremely adaptable to their environment meaning we could soon see these dangerous pythons all over the United States.
They were first introduced into Florida as an exotic pet and were genetically speaking mostly a Burmese python. In the 1980s a decision was made to introduce them into the states local wildlife where they immediately started to wreak havoc on all the local small mammals. And due to the ample feeding grounds, they quickly grew in numbers, ranging to the tens of thousands.
Ecology and Evolution recently decided to study these pythons and find out why they were able to adapt and multiply so easily and confirmed these Burmese pythons actually contain traces of another species. They discovered that most of the snakes had genetic traces that confirmed they were also an Indian python, which means that at some point cross-breeding happened.
The scary part is that hybrids are generally more than capable of living in a wide range of different environments and are better suited when it comes to climate change. For example, Indian pythons like to stay in high & dry areas, whereas, Burmese pythons like water and prefer to stick to river forests.
Even more concerning is the huge population gains this hybrid python has seen lately, causing the native animal populations to go down tremendously. It can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh over two hundred pounds, they are well liked in the reptile owning community and tend to be the large snake of choice for a pet.
Both snakes are what is known as an invasive species for the state of Florida, which means local wildlife is just not equipped for this sort of predator.