Interspecies Conflict/reptile conflict


good match up fo you here bk i think.20ft reticulated python vs 250lb komodo dragon?scenario one face to face.scenario two snake ambushes the dragon.and being american i'm sure you have heard of the burmese pythons now living in the everglades,now would you say the alligator is still top predator there?let's say the biggest both species grow, who do you think is still the apex predator?thanks bk:)

Hello Chris.

20ft reticulated python vs 250lb Komodo dragon (face-to-face): The Komodo dragon will have a decent weight advantage over the reticulated python.  Komodo dragons are powerful reptiles with claws suited for effective digging, a whip-like tail, & a dangerous bite with sharp teeth used to tear flesh.  They also have tough hide (tiny osteoderms help form an armor-like skin).  It was once believed that the Komodo dragon's bite was effective in dispatching victims based solely on the presence of bacteria, but it is now known that the komodo also produces a toxin that induces shock in its prey.  Reticulated pythons are excellent ambush predators, but like all constrictors, aren't great face-to-face combatants on land due to limited mobility & stamina.  The python strikes at prey items to latch on with its jaws (to create an "anchoring point") and attempts to pull its coils around the victim (and squeezes to induce asphyxiation).  The Komodo dragon's skin might be difficult to penetrate, and its low-to-the-ground built might make it difficult for the reticulated python to wrap around.  The komodo's teeth (up to 1" long & hidden in the gumline) and claws can damage the python's body, but the toxic effect of the lizard's bite won't likely be as profound with a snake as it would be with a mammal.  A 20ft reticulated python is certainly capable of subduing a 250lb Komodo dragon (especially if it coils around its neck), but it won't likely get a good opportunity to do so in a face-to-face battle on land.  A battle in the water will favor the python (as its mobility & stamina will be greatly increased), but it will be slightly outmatched on land.  Komodo dragon wins.

20ft reticulated python vs 250lb Komodo dragon (snake ambushes dragon): The reticulated python's chances to prevail against the Komodo dragon will improve somewhat if an ambush is employed.  The problems the snake will encounter will be latching onto the komodo's tough hide, wrapping its coils around a low-to-the-ground animal, & dealing with the lizard's inevitable counter-attack.  The Komodo dragon will need to be able to land some bites before the progress of the coils become too advanced (once wrapped up, the komodo will have no way to escape) to have a decent chance.  The python won't succeed in its ambush against this heavier animal in some of its attempts, but it can prevail if it attains a good position.  The python's coils will continue to wrap around the komodo even while the counter-attack is occurring, and this will be a problem for the lizard if it isn't careful.  This conflict can go either way depending on how it plays out.  An ambush in water will successful most of the time for the python, but an ambush on land won't be quite as easy against a larger, more mobile animal that has the tools to fight back.  This conflict (ambush) at parity will favor the reticulated python, but the snake is giving up a lot of weight in this scenario.  Close to 50/50.

Q: I'm sure you have heard of the Burmese pythons now living in the Everglades.  Now would you say the alligator is still top predator there?  Let's say the biggest both species grow, who do you think is still the apex predator?
A: Burmese pythons (as well as other large constrictors) have been released by pet owners in the Everglades, and their introduction has wreaked havoc on the incumbent ecosystem.  The warm, swampy habitat is a perfect living spot for these snakes, and their population is increasing as a result.  Many of the animals living there did not evolve to defend themselves from large constrictors.  Alligators are huge reptiles with armored hides & extremely powerful jaws, and they can reach weights over 4 times as heavy as any python.  A Burmese python is capable of killing a subadult alligator, but a full-grown one will be a bit out of its league.  The alligator is still the apex predator in the Everglades, and it is one of the few animals there that can successfully repel a Burmese python attack.  A constrictor is a good match for any alligator/crocodile close to its weight range, but at maximum weights, it won't have the power to suffocate one in its coils.

Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

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Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.


From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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