One of the most massive snakes in the world is the Burmese Python. The average length of adult Burmese pythons captured in Florida is 1.8m (6 ft), and 2.7m (9 ft). The largest Burmese caught in Florida was over 5.4m (18 ft).
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Burmese pythons have tan skin with dark blotches on the sides and back. These blotches look similar to giraffe markings or puzzle pieces. The head is a pyramid-shaped with an arrowhead-shaped wedge that extends toward the nose.
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Burmese Pythons are not venomous. They prey on both native Florida reptiles and birds, as well non-native species like black rats. Key Largo woodrats are a federally threatened species that they have eaten. Burmese pythons can reach 26 feet in length and weigh more than 200 pounds. A Burmese Python taken in Florida measures 8-10 feet.
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The Burmese Python's native range stretches from India to lower China, through the Malay Peninsula, and some islands in the East Indies. These pythons are often found near water. This snake, although semi-aquatic is an excellent climber. Burmese pythons can lay between 50 and 100 eggs. The female Burmese Python will wrap her body around the eggs to protect them from predators and keep them warm. The female python's ability to raise its temperature is through rhythmic twitching of its muscles. This generates heat that incubates the eggs. The incubation process can last up to three months. Young pythons can survive on their own after the eggs have been hatched. A Burmese python can attack humans at a very low rate. The owners of captive snakes or their immediate family have been documented as victims in human attacks by Pythons in the United States.
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Burmese Pythons are now Prohibited species. They can no longer be owned or acquired as pets or commercially sold in Florida. These animals can only be acquired by researchers and public exhibitors who are properly authorized. Burmese Pythons may be kept with their owners for the rest of their lives if they were in private possession as pets before July 1, 2010. These Burmese pythons are limited pets and must be licensed by the Reptile of Concern.
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Burmese Pythons, which aren't native to Florida, are considered an invasive species because of their impact on native wildlife. The only law that protects this species in Florida is anti-cruelty. Pythons can be killed off private property with permission from the landowner. They can also be killed all year round on 25 public lands located in South Florida without a permit. FWC encourages the killing of wild-caught pythons wherever possible. To possess Burmese pythons captured live for control or eradication purposes, you will need a permit.
Adult Burmese Pythons are large and have very few predators. Alligators and humans are the exceptions. They may be a threat to native species, and could reduce their numbers locally. Research is ongoing to determine the impact pythons can have on native mammal populations. Although pythons can eat both common and exotic native species, they may also eat threatened or endangered species. Key Largo wood rats, for example, have been eaten by pythons.
Burmese Pythons could pose a danger to human safety. Pythons can also attack pets like cats and dogs.
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