Giant pythons could spread in southern U.S., say feds
You may think you're prepared for climate change -- solar-powered fan, flood insurance, nostalgic polar-bear picture, check, check, check -- but are you prepared for 20-foot, 250-pound snakes? Giant Burmese pythons could find some one-third of the United States to be habitable climate by 2100, according to a new map published by the U.S. Geological Survey. The pythons, which were originally dumped in the Florida Everglades by disenchanted pet owners and now number in the thousands, aren't generally a threat to humans, but do count deer, bobcats, and alligators among their squeeze-'n'-gulp prey. However, alligators also eat pythons. But before you get any ideas, "we are not recommending you import alligators into California," says one USGS zoologist. "That would not be a good idea."