Pythons Are Really Good At Finding Their Way Home
Apart from being scarily large and voracious, Burmese pythons are also good at finding their way home, a new research has found.
The new research conducted in Florida's Everglades found that its pythons' unusual navigational skills that doesn't help much to agencies desperately trying to curb the snakes population in the fragile wetlands, reported St Augustine.
"The snakes homing ability is on a scale previously undocumented for any snake species," said Shannon Pittman, a herpetologist at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., according to USA Today.
Researchers trapped six Burmese pythons and placed radio transmitters in them. Afterwards they took them around 20 miles away and then released them.
Surprisingly, they found that the snakes immediately headed back taking "direct and striking" routes.
"You can't move them. Quite honestly, they're going to move back to where they came from," said Kristen Hart, a research ecologist with the USGS in Gainesville, Fla, according to USA Today.
For snakes, it took 94 to 296 days to return but somehow they navigated within 2 miles of their original capture locations in the Everglades National Parks.
"There are records of snakes up nearly to Lake Okeechobee," said Michael Dorcas, a biology professor at Davidson College and lead author on the paper, according to USA Toady. "Most scientists agree that they are likely well north of Alligator Alley (I-75) now."
"This is like the difference between homing pigeons and other birds," said the University of Florida's Frank Mazzotti, one of the researchers for the study, in the press release.
Researchers added that snakes were devastating invaders and were eating through the food chain.
The research will be published in the journal Biology Letters.