New Delhi: It's amazing what snakes, with their slender bodies, are capable of doing. We're talking in terms of their consumption capacities – irrespective of size or quantity.
A 16-foot long Burmese python was trapped and euthanised in the Florida Everglades in June 2013. However, researchers who recently conducted a necropsy on the serpent, stumbled upon incredible details, which have now been published in the journal BioInvasions Records.
The new study revealed that the python has been found with three whole deer in its gut! According to lead researcher Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, the python probably consumed the deer over about 90 days - a relatively short period for a snake to have three such large meals, The Telegraph reported.
"If a python is capable of eating three deer in three months," he told Live Science, "what else are they eating that we don't know about? We don't even know how many of them are out there [in the Everglades]."
Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia and an invasive species in Florida, that have become established in the 1990s.
As per the study, non-native pythons have been known to eat indigenous animals, and earlier research has shown a correlation between their presence and a drop in the number of mammals such as rabbits, bobcats and racoons.
The Telegraph further said that, researchers suggested that the snake may have hidden in the water, allowing to get within striking distance of the deer when they were drinking.
Study co-authors Teresa Hsu and Suzanne Peurach, who performed the autopsy on the animal, found 14 lbs of fecal matter, equating to 13 per cent of its body mass. The fecal matter contained a large quantity of undigested fur, hooves, bones and teeth.