We have a lot of dangerous wildlife in Florida- there’s probably more things that can kill you here than anywhere but Australia! And when dangerous critters get together, there are winners and losers! A recent study was published in the Southeastern Journal documenting the frequency of alligators eating sharks. There had been some anecdotal evidence before, but the new research indicates it is much more common than realized. Sharks frequently come into brackish fresh water, and while alligators don’t live in saltwater, they can tolerate it. Naturally, when a larger predator comes into contact with a smaller critter, even if it’s also a predator, the smaller critter runs the risk of becoming lunch. I’m sure a large shark would make a meal of a smaller alligator, if given the chance. Gators certainly have learned that can make a meal out of sharks and rays!
They aren’t the only predators willing to go after sharks. A couple years ago, a man named John Bailey snapped a pic of a shark being fished out by a bobcat near Vero Beach. Like I said, there’s a lot of nasty critters in Florida!
Iguana on Key Biscayne
The Burmese Pythons have gotten a lot of press lately, and we have seen Nile Monitor lizards in Cape Coral, and mean old Tegus on the east coast, but it tends to get forgotten that there are invasive iguanas established in many places on Florida. They are not dangerous to people or animals, so they don’t get much press, but they are ubiquitous in certain areas.
They can be a problem, from invading housing developments and weakening retaining walls, but also to native flora and fauna. For instance: “In the Florida Keys, iguanas ate up the host plant for the endangered Miami blue butterfly in Bahia Honda State Park. Nearly 600 iguanas have been removed from the park in the last two fiscal years, according to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, but the quarter-sized butterflies haven’t returned.”
Tylor Hindery via facebook
Some tourists took an airboat tour in the Everglades, and probably thought they were pretty luck to pull right up next to an Alligator. They were streaming video live on Facebook when the tides turned. They probably reconsidered how lucky they were when the gator climbed into their boat. Fortunately, the Gator was able to get out and nobody was hurt!
It was clearly a harrowing experience for Tylor Hindery and the people he was with on the boat. But to get that on Facebook Live… priceless. via fox4now:
I have gone on several airboat tours, and they are a lot of fun.. until somebody gets eaten!
The SpaceX rocket exploded on the launch pad today, in spectacular fashion. The US Launch Report has the dramatic video:
Fortunately, nobody was injured.
Facebook photo via Sharif Walker
This was posted on Facebook, the poster indicates it was taken just outside the City of Fort Myers on the way to Lehich Acres… that’s just down the street. I can’t see much detail, but at that length, it must be an invasive Burmese Python.
I posted the snake in the courtroom on my other blog this morning- makes that little fella look like a walk in the park. And a guy in South Carolina had a couple snakes dangling out of his attic, but they probably didn’t match this Burmese if they were lined up end to end!
And remember that Massive Gator that was filed walking along a Florida Golf Course, keep in mind that these Burmese Pythons HUNT alligators! It’s like we’re surrounded by dinosaurs down here!
It made news for obvious reasons, but it’s really not uncommon down here.
UPDATE: Apparently- it’s a fake. Which is kind of silly, because we actually do get snakes like that down here… http://www.nbc-2.com/story/27389139/7-foot-snake-slithers-through-naples-park#.V2gEKrgrLcc
and : http://www.nbc-2.com/story/31498822/largest-burmese-python-in-s-florida-record-found-in-collier-co#.V2gEZbgrLcc
Nile Monitor Photo by Ms. Onufer
A Cape Coral woman had been missing her cat for a few weeks, and when she walked out in her back yard the other day, she may have found the culprit. Katie Onufer was able to snap a few pictures of a Nile Monitor Lizard, which hissed at her before sneaking out through a hole in her fence. That’s on top of recent reports of coyotes taking dogs in Punta Gorda: my neighbor actually had one in his lanai! Cape Coral (and some other areas) are filthy with iguanas. The Burmese Python situation is so bad, they are sponsoring another hunt. Now, other types of pythons, including aggressive Rock Pythons, may be establishing breeding populations. It’s not just on land… toothy Snakeheads have established colonies in our canals. And toothy little carnivorous dragons known as Tegu are spreading in South Florida.
As if Florida didn’t already have enough scary wildlife of it’s own, we literally have all the nastiest critters from around the globe congregating here to eat us. Let this serve as a warning to snowbirds: stay out… Florida is a dangerous place! Even the armadillos have leprosy!
Nile Monitor Sightings in SW Florida
If you see a Nile Monitor lizard, report it to FWC. If you see any of these critters, report them. Run first! Then report them.
I guess the takeaway is, don’t mess with Armadillos, they are known to carry leprosy, and there have been several recent cases reported in Florida. Yeesh.
Also, why is the plural “armadillos” and not “armadilloes”? That seems wrong, no?