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A Burmese python in the Everglades with a penchant for venison gulped down three whole deer — one doe and two fawns — before wildlife officials captured and euthanized it, a new study reveals.

The gustatory feat sets a record: It's the first invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) caught with three deer in its gut, said study co-lead author Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

The python probably attacked and ate the deer at different times over a 90-day period, Boback said. That time span may seem long, but it's actually quite surprising that a snake would eat three enormous meals in a relatively short window, Boback told Live Science. [Photos: This Invasive Python Ate Three Wild Deer]

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

Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia, but for reasons still shrouded in mystery, they became established in the Everglades during the 1990s. The snakes can grow to be up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) long in the Everglades (and up to 26 feet, or 8 m, long in Southeast Asia). They use their strong muscles to wrap around prey, obstructing their victims' blood flow until circulation stops.

Deer trio

It's unclear how the python attacked the deer, but the snake may have hid in the water, waiting for the deer to stop for a drink. That would have left the deer within striking distance of the snake, Boback said.

The 15.6-foot-long (4.8 m) female snake was almost done digesting its three massive meals when officials caught and euthanized it on June 3, 2013. A necropsy, or animal autopsy, revealed an empty stomach but intestines packed with poop.

The fecal matter was immense: more than 14 lbs. (6.5 kilograms), or 13 percent of the snake's body mass, Boback said. Study co-researchers Teresa Hsu and Suzanne Peurach, scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, sieved through the excrement and found mats of fur and several undigested hooves, bones and teeth, indicating that the python had eaten white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) — and not just one, Boback said.

It's no surprise that the fur, hooves and teeth were undigested, as pythons can't break down keratin or enamel, Boback said. However, they can digest bone, which would explain why the researchers found only fragments of bone in the dung, he said.

After sifting through the snake poop, the researchers found 12 white-tailed deer hooves and 10 dewclaws — the upper part of the deer's toes. The hooves are organized by individual, with the adult on the left side, the large fawn in the middle and the small fawn on the right.

The size and shape of the hooves — as well as the presence of a deciduous, or baby, tooth — indicated that the adult doe was at least 1 year old and about 99 lbs. (45 kg), one fawn was about 1 month old and 37 lbs. (17 kg) and the other fawn was about 2 weeks old and 29 lbs. (13 kg), the researchers wrote in the study. [In Images: Hungry Python Eats Porcupine Whole]

Python invasion

Pythons are ravenous eaters, and they've been wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem, Boback said. The hungry snakes hunt the region's native animals, including birds, mammals and at least one reptile — the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), the researchers wrote in the study.

Although other Everglades studies have shown correlations between the presence of pythons and a drop in mammals — such as raccoons, opossums, bobcats and rabbits — the new report shows concrete evidence that pythons can eat more than one deer within a short period of time, Boback said.

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

The study was published in the November issue of the journal BioInvasions Records.

Original article on Live Science.

December 02 at 8:32am

In my opinion the current issue has more useful deer hunting information than any other I can remember. Yes I do work for them and you can call me a homer, but if you have been reading my column and posts over the years, you should know that I tell it like it is. If you have not read the magazine this month and you are a die hard deer hunter like me, check it out. You will most likely find something in there that you have never heard before and it could be useful to your season. Good hunting and God bless!

November 30 at 10:01am

4 of my grandkids, (Ava, Baylor and Reese Allen, Tuesday Aucoin) with intense concentration waiting for a bite! They had a great time catching largemouth bass, several varieties of perch and a few mullets. Thanks to my buddy Joey Busbice for letting us fish in his back yard in Stephensville.

August 07 at 5:04pm

More pics from my grandkids fishing trip. They had a blast catching one after another. Size was NOT an issue, if it pulled, they pulled back! Haha! Lots of of fun for all.

August 07 at 4:53pm

My 6 year old grand daughter, Tuesday Ray Aucoin from California, is here visiting us. I took her fishing in Stephensville this morning to try to catch her first fish. The mission was accomplished in short order, as her first ever catch was a largemouth bass. Within in minutes she caught a mullet and several perch. We were using earthworms under a cork and the action was fast and furious. Her Pop was doing nothing but baiting lines, taking pictures and releasing fish all morning long. Great time, great memories!

August 01 at 7:49pm

The catfish bite has slowed considerably. Had to resort to running a couple of cut bait trot lines to make up for the lack of rod and reel activity.

May 25 at 10:11pm

More pics from the Locust Bayou fishing trip.

May 07 at 8:50pm

My daughter Brooke Allen, her husband Sam and kids Ava and Baylor had a very successful red fishing trip down at Locust Bayou today. They fished several different spots without much success, until they hit Locust Bayou. They battled bull reds and bull black drum almost non stop for several hours. Shrimp, crawfish and cracked crab were the bait. Bright sunshine and almost calm conditions, made for a very enjoyable and memorable day of fishing with the family.

May 07 at 8:46pm

My 78 year old dad, Raymond Aucoin, has been out of commission (fishing wise) for nearly a year. I was honored to take him down to Bayou Dularge this morning and serve as his personal photographer and his chief deck hand. He proceeded to land one big bull red after another, just like he has done for many, many years. He caught the first bull red 15 seconds after casting out the first line. It was just that kind of day for him and I loved every moment of it! If you don't think the man was on fire, check out the photo of the 20 lb bull red with the spots aligned to read 'RA', you know like 'Raymond Aucoin'. The man was even catching personalized fish! Haha! Seriously though, it was a very enjoyable day getting my dad back on the water where he truly belongs!

April 25 at 9:32pm

Well after Baylor's Mom and big sister put it on him last week catching the most and biggest cat fish, Baylor set out yesterday to regain his title. Brooke and Ava, stayed home and gave him a chance to redeem himself, while his dad, Sam and I were his deckhands. Baylor responded with the biggest catfish of the day and even a rare sheepshead for the most exotic fish of the day. All is right with the world, as Baylor has once again become, 'THE FISHMASTER'! Take your kids out fishing, it really is a blast!

April 18 at 8:33am

I don't think we will be changing Baylor's nickname from 'Fish Master' to 'Eel Master' any time soon!! Haha! He hauled in this big sucker and then did not want to have much to do with him once he got in the boat!

April 12 at 9:49pm

My daughter Brooke, decided to join us on an impromtu afternoon fishing trip. Baylor 'Fishmaster' Allen and big sister Ava Allen were co captains for the trip down to Fool's Point. It was very windy, but still pleasant weather. Using river shrimp, we were able to catch enough for a nice meal in a couple of hours. Brooke caught the biggest catfish of the day, Ava had the second biggest and The Fishmaster caught a huge eel. Great fun with my loved ones.

April 12 at 9:44pm

My 6 year old grandson Baylor 'The Fishmaster' Allen had a blast reeling in some nice freshwater cats at Fool's Point near Berwick last week. Check out the action pics I took. What a joy it is to experience his excitement with each and every catch.

April 07 at 10:40pm

Tired of looking at pics all of those big bull reds on the site. Decided now that hog season was over, it was time to get us some! Randy Levingston and I traded our hunting weapons, for rod and reels and headed down to Dularge. We quickly each hooked up with nice 20 pound plus bulls, but just as quickly found them hard to find for the rest of the afternoon. Beautiful day to fish though, light winds, bright sunshine, life is GOOD!

April 07 at 10:25pm

My six year old grandson Baylor Allen really put it on his Pop and Grandpa. We took Baylor fishing Sunday down to Halter's Island. He caught 6 reds and two nice freshwater catfish. His biggest red was 26 inches long and 7.50 lbs. Let's just say my Dad and I caught less than Baylor did...a lot less! Haha! We fished with shrimp and Gulp. Nothing like listening to your grandson talking smack all morning. It was like 'Hey Pop, I am the FISH MASTER!!!'

What a great day it was, with 3 generations having a good time on the water.

March 08 at 4:48pm

We got this buck on game camera on 1/15/16 at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. The antlers appear to be in velvet of some sort. Not sure what it is exactly. Anyone ever see anything like this before at this time of the season?

January 25 at 11:01am

My good buddy Nelson Dupre shot this beautiful buck on a recent trip to Texas. The coloring on the head is awesome in my opinion.

January 06 at 8:53pm

Lot's of nice bucks were taken in recent weeks at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. Pictured is one taken by my buddy Randy Levingston. Check out my blog Public Rambling in the coming days for details.

November 30, 2015 at 7:39pm

I have posted many successful reports about fishing in Dularge, unfortunately this is not one of them. My son in law Sam took his son Baylor and a couple of buddies from Georgia to try to catch some bull reds and black drum. They called ahead to be sure Jugg's had some crabs for their bait. They were assured that there were plenty. Problem is when they got to the landing a short time later, no one was answering the phone and the door was locked. They decided to launch anyway and hoped to find a crabber to sell them some small crabs to use for bait. As luck would have it, not a crabber was found and they resorted to using Gulp for bait. That did work out very well and they only caught 2 small black drum. Their fortunes did change the next 2 days as they tried Locust Bayou and hit the bull reds big time. - See more at: http://www.louisianasportsman.com/lpca/index.php?section=reports&event=view&action=full_report&id=192847#sthash.Z7aBNta9.dpuf

November 18, 2015 at 11:06am

In early November, my son in law Sam Allen, took his two buddies, Matt Garrett and Michael Davis, who are from Georgia, out for 3 days of fishing for bull reds. After the first day did not work out in Bayou Dularge, they decided to try going down the Atchafalaya river to Locust Bayou. In the next 2 days of fishing, they caught all the big bull reds and bull black drum they could handle. They also had many more break off the 30 lb test line and steel leaders. It seemed the big fish were stacked up in their location. They used live crabs for bait. The guys from Georgia had a blast and plan to come back again next year to try this again. -

November 18, 2015 at 11:04am
A comment titled: Re: Grandson\\\\\\\'s first deer in response to a report titled: Grandson's first deer

What a thrill! I will bet we will see Brendon's pic again very soon with deer number 2. His grandpa is a very good hunter and he will help guide the way.

October 02 at 12:31am
A comment titled: Re: Please identify in response to a report titled: Please identify

That is one of the funniest things I have ever seen on this website! Haaaahaaaa!

August 23 at 8:53pm
A comment titled: Re: First ever fish in response to a report titled: First ever fish

We were fishing at a friend's house in Oak Harbor subdivision. He has a nice covered wharf and the fishing has always been very good there.

August 02 at 9:11pm
A comment titled: Re: Bayou black in response to a report titled: Bayou black

Glad you boys are finally getting along! Haha! No reason to get so testy. Opinions are exactly what we want here. if they were all the same, it would be very BORING! More importantly...how many days 'til deer season???

June 15 at 10:02pm
A comment titled: Re: The \'MAN\' is back! in response to a report titled: The 'MAN' is back!

Here is the 'initial fish' before he released it.

April 26 at 3:39pm

I am born and raised in Morgan City. Fished and hunted all of my life in the area. Check out my reports on this site as well as my column Public Rambling the link is http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=9439. I can probably tell you anything you need to know about this area if you would like.

April 16 at 12:24pm

It also freezes my computer. It actually does it as soon as I get on the site as I am scrolling through the reports.

January 29 at 12:09pm
A comment titled: Re: What is this? in response to a report titled: What is this?

Haaahaaa! I do have a few openings in my appointment book!

January 26 at 12:50pm
A comment titled: Re: First Deer in response to a report titled: First Deer

Congratulations! Great story and great buck. Sounds like you and your husband earned that deer. What a memory this will be for both of you.

January 05 at 9:10pm
A comment titled: Re: Jeremy Dubose 8pt in response to a report titled: Jeremy Dubose 8pt

Great story. Great buck!

December 25, 2015 at 10:27pm

What a buck! Amazing!

December 25, 2015 at 10:24pm
A comment titled: Re: Sons first deer in response to a report titled: Sons first deer

Good job buddy!

December 10, 2015 at 5:44am
A comment titled: Re: 12 point in response to a report titled: 12 point

What a beautiful buck! Congrats!

December 09, 2015 at 12:18pm

Great job Brady and congratulations to you!

December 06, 2015 at 8:36pm
A comment titled: Re: Gray Allums Buck in response to a report titled: Gray Allums Buck

Gray you are the MAN!!!

December 06, 2015 at 8:35pm
A comment titled: Re: public land giant in response to a report titled: public land giant

That is an awesome buck! Congrats!

December 06, 2015 at 8:34pm
A comment titled: Re: Atchafalaya Delta WMA in response to a report titled: Atchafalaya Delta WMA

Perfect advice from Wintertime. The 'inside' route is far safer for you when launching from Berwick. Try it for the first time during daylight hours.

November 19, 2015 at 7:16pm
A comment titled: Re: Best light weight camo rain gear in response to a report titled: Best light weight camo rain gear

Man this is an old post! The Gamehide was OK. It was comfortable enough, but not 100% waterproof. also It picked up a lot of those stickers that come out in the winter. Those things are near impossible to get off. Still have not found what I was looking for...hey maybe I will write a song...Haha!

November 17, 2015 at 8:07pm
A comment titled: Re: moderatorators in response to a report titled: moderatorators

I am pulling them down as fast as I can find them. Quite a few today though.

July 12, 2015 at 9:24pm
A comment titled: Re: Where is the deer? in response to a report titled: Where is the deer?

Haaahaaa! Get those eyes checked before deer season!

July 08, 2015 at 5:47pm
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