A new study conducted by U.S. Geological Survey researchers shows the possibility of a “super snake” hybrid species in the Florida Everglades.
The possibility arose from what was supposed to be a simple genetic survey into pythons in the area. However, a small number of invasive Burmese and Indian Pythons have crossbred, posing a significant issue for the spread of the snakes.
The hybrid species would have the potential to spread further into the state due to its wider climate adaptations. Pythons have already demonstrated a remarkable ability to spread in Florida, with the snakes being found to be breeding in the Keys for the first time in 2016. Scientists estimated that their numbers could be in the thousands, based off of small mammal population declines.
“All species do this,”USGS geneticist Margaret Hunter said, “But we’re watching evolutionary progress right in front of us.”