Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Snakes alive, and heading for home

Burmese pythons slithered back home despite being released up to 24 miles away from where they were captured
Burmese pythons slithered back home despite being released up to 24 miles away from where they were captured

Researchers have discovered something new about Burmese pythons - they are really good at finding their way home.

Researchers caught six pythons in South Florida's Everglades National Park, implanted radio transmitters under their skins and released them up to 24 miles from where they were captured.

Surprisingly, the snakes found their way home within months.

According to research being published today in the journal Biology Letters, the pythons slithered with a purpose instead of moving randomly across the wetlands. It is unclear how the snakes mapped their routes.

The discovery about pythons' unusual navigational abilities does not immediately help Florida's wildlife agencies trying to curb the python population in Florida wetlands.

The tan, splotchy snakes are notoriously hard to spot in the Everglades even when tracked with transmitters.

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