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Last Updated: Thursday October 06 2005 09:03 GMT

Snake explodes after gator dinner

The predators died in the clash

Animal experts in the US are baffled after a huge snake exploded when trying to snack on a giant alligator.

The body of the 3.9m-long Burmese Python was found in the Florida Everglades split in half, with the 1.9m-long alligator sticking out of it.

No-one is quite sure what happened, but it's thought the gator tried to fight back while being eaten, perhaps clawing open the snake's stomach.

Experts are worried the huge snakes could now wipe out other animals.

"Clearly, if they can kill an alligator they can kill other species," said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

Ssssnakes quizzzz
A snake
The snakes don't naturally live in the Everglades, but lots have been left there by people who don't want them as pets anymore.

Left in the wild they can grow even bigger than this one, and have been eating other animals in the area like otters, squirrels, endangered woodstorks and sparrows.

What's confused the experts is that the python's head is missing, and with the body of the gator coming out of the middle of the snake, they're not completely sure which animal did what.

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