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Remains of three whole deer found inside Florida python's stomach

By Daniel Uria
Remains of three whole deer found inside Florida python's stomach
A 15.6-foot female python was found in the Florida Everglades with remains of three whole deer in its stomach. Researchers were able to determine the python had consumed two fawns and an adult doe within a period of about 90-days. Screen capture/The Lift [The Weather Company]/AOL

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Researchers discovered the remains of three whole deer inside the body of a Burmese Python found in Florida.

The 15.6-foot female python was discovered in Everglades National Park in 2013 when an autopsy revealed large amounts of fecal matter containing deer remnants, according to a study published by the Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre.

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"To determine number of deer consumed, we grouped hoof sheaths and dewclaw sheaths based on size and color," researchers said. "The presence of twelve hooves and ten dewclaws confirmed that the snake had consumed at minimum three individual white-tailed deer."

Researchers were able to gather information from the remains to determine two of the deer were fawns while the third was an adult doe.

One of the authors of the study Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, told Live Science the python likely consumed the deer within a 90-day period.

He added that consuming such a large amount of food in a relatively short period of time was unusual for the animal.

"If a python is capable of eating three deer in three months, what else are they eating that we don't know about?" Boback said. "We don't even know how many of them are out there [in the Everglades.]"

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Other studies have blamed the presence of the invasive pythons for drops in raccoons, opossums, bobcats and rabbits and other mammals in the ecosystem.

"It just begs the question, 'How often are they eating these things?'" Boback said.

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