Reptiles/comparision

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Question
hi miss donna.i am happy that i can to find you and ask question again after almost one year.i have an almost very technical?!do you think a martial artist can be able that with it,s power and agility win in a conflict with a giant snake like a large brumese python or an african rock python or reticulated python or green or yellow anaconda?!i saw a documentary from national geographic called fight science that shows a wushu master(a woman that was a wushu master)have a fast reaction with her hands with a speed around 16.38 feet/second(almost 11 miles/hr or 17.690 km/hr)!!while an albino western diamond back rattle snake reaction was about 13.28feet/second(almost 9 miles/hr or 14.342 km/hr)!!!!!!about the power of some great martial artists even some takewondo champions they can to kick with speed of 136 mph or almost 214 km and a power about 2300 ibs or around 1043 kg.if you know the speed reaction of snakes like giant and dangerous snakes like poisionese snakes and their strike please tell me and compare them with these martial artists please tell me please in end have a comparison between big crocdilian family like nile croc and saltwater croc and american alligator and american croc.thanks alot and sorry that it was too long.

Answer
Well, that depends on what you mean by win.  The martial artist may be able to grab the snake by the neck and break it, if the martial artist is the aggressor.  The head is vulnerable, so if they attack the snake's head, then it will have no chance to defend itself.

If the snake takes the martial artist by surprise, and it is a large retic or green anaconda, or very large Burmese python, then no.  I don't know about an Afrock... probably not.  Yellow anaconda are much smaller snakes, though, so they're really not included among the giants.  No one's ever been killed by a yellow anaconda.  Yellow anacondas stay under 14 feet long, and average about 9 feet.  No larger than a boa constrictor, and with a weight of around 70 pounds for big females.  It's a handful, and capable of killing a person in the wrong situation, but it would be a fluke, and has never happened.  (Just as only one person has ever been killed by a boa constrictor - the fellow put the snake around his neck and danced around with it to show off.  The nervous snake tightened its grip to avoid falling, and cut off the blood flow to his brain.  Oops).

If a large constrictor manages to wrap a person so their arms are not free, they stand no chance of getting loose.  This is why these snakes should only be handled by experienced people, and another person should always be present to assist in case of an accident.  It's much less difficult for a second person to unwrap the snake from the first person.

On their own, the human would have little chance of getting loose before they lost consciousness due to restricted breathing and blood flow.

If you're trying for a straight comparison of speed and strength, you really can't make a valid comparison.  A large python's strike is fast, though probably not quite as fast as a rattlesnake strike, but of course, snakes can't kick, and they don't strike with force, they strike to bite.  In defense, a large python strikes to bite, then releases.

These animals only attempt to kill things they intend to eat.  They strike and hold, then wrap their coils around their prey and constrict it.  In any contest where the snake is attacked first, it's not going to try to kill its attacker - so, it would automatically lose to the martial artist.  The only exception would be if the person tried to grab and restrain the snake - then the snake would coil and constrict in the process of attempting to get free.

A 6 foot 6 inch snake can deliver about 1 kilogram per square centimeter.  An 18 foot snake can deliver about 12 pounds per square inch of constricting pressure.  For larger snakes, I don't have exact numbers for you, but a very large reticulated python could certainly break major bones through constriction - there's no way for human strength to break free of that.
http://research.pbsci.ucsc.edu/eeb/mehta/PDF/Moon&Mehta2007.pdf

Fortunately for humans, these snakes rarely regard humans as anything other than predators to flee from.  If a person is the aggressor in a confrontation, the snake will bite and the person will likely require stitches, but that's about all.

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Donna Fernstrom

Expertise

My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.

Experience

I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Organizations
Nebraska Herpetological Society (nebherp.org)

Publications
I have many care sheets published on my own website.

Education/Credentials
High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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