From: Megan Gannon, MSNBC
Published August 14, 2012 07:15 AM

Record Burmese Python found in the Florida Everglades

A double record-setting Burmese python has been found in the Florida Everglades.

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At 17 feet, 7 inches (5.3 meters) in length, it is the largest snake of its kind found in the state and it was carrying a record 87 eggs. Scientists say the finding highlights how dangerously comfortable the invasive species has become in its new home.

"This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide," said Kenneth Krysko, of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. "It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild, there's nothing stopping them and the native wildlife are in trouble."

The giant female python was discovered in the Everglades National Park and had been stored since May in a freezer at the museum; on Friday, researchers at the museum studied its internal anatomy, making the wild discovery.

Florida is the world capital for invasive reptiles and amphibians, and the Burmese python, native to Southeast Asia, is one of the state's most prominent new residents. The snake was introduced to Florida by the exotic pet trade three decades ago and is now one of the region's deadliest and most competitive predators.

Read more at MSNBC.

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