Category Archives: COUNTRIES

African rock python kills & devours an impala. Pics & video here.

One morning we heard impala alarm calling close to the river, which signalled a predator in the area, and our first instinct was to suspect that it was a leopard or a lion. However, when we reached the area, we noticed that these impala were staring at the ground. It was then that we noticed a small impala lamb lying motionless. Wrapped around its fragile body was an African rock python that was at least four metres in length.

A few minutes later the herd moved away leaving the snake with her prize, but we watched fascinated as she continued to squeeze despite the lack of life left in the poor lamb’s body.

The mother impala returned and came close to her baby’s body, distraught and calling in alarm. When the snake was confident that the lamb was dead, it released its grip. It then locked its jaws around the lamb’s nose and efficiently moved it into the undergrowth out of our sight.

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AUSTRALIAN Python devours live pet Christmas feast at expense of pet owner

FOR many residents, a family feast is a Christmas tradition that leaves everyone feeling the effects for days after.

However, residents weren’t the only ones nursing their full bellies this Christmas, as the Darling Downs Snake Catchers removed a 3-metre-long python who had enjoyed its very own festive feast from a Mount Lofty Toowoomba Qld home.

Snake catcher Gunter Glaser said the owner had been out to check on her pet chickens when she made the discovery.

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UBER PYTHON PIGGY BACK RIDE BY TOADS IN AUSTRALIA

A quintessentially Australian photo which could only have come from WA’s Kimberley has gone viral, as social media across the world marvelled at a python playing pick-up to a bunch of amorous cane toads.

Helicopter pilot Paul Mock snapped the photo of the olive python — named Monty, of course — onboard was a contingent of cane toads on its back in the wake of an inundation of 68mm rain at his Kununurra WA property on Monday.

Mr Mock doesn’t have social media but decided to send the picture on to his brother Andrew, who quickly uploaded it to Twitter where it caused a storm.

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The mysterious worlds jungle tribes clinging to their ancient ways

In the 21st century, globalisation has brought the planet’s disparate populations and cultures closer than ever before, but there are still places — and people — who remain largely untouched by the outside world.

One of those remaining “lost” civilisations was thrust into the spotlight this week when American tourist and missionary John Allen Chau was reportedly killed by a flurry of arrows launched by an isolated tribe on a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

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Brown snake and family dog caught on security cam in fight at Truro home North of Adelaide South Australia

A FIGHT between a brown snake and a Japanese hunting dog has played out in front of a security camera at a home north of Adelaide.

Nine-year-old Chardy, a shiba inu, grabbed the metre-long brown snake as it entered Teresa and Aaron Barnden’s front yard at Truro, last week.

For more than two minutes, dog and snake joust and strike, with both appearing to land blows.

Chardy keeps pulling the snake back to the lawn, immediately in front of a security camera in a nearby window of the house.

A brown snake rears and lunges at Chardy the shiba inu in a Barossa Valley South Australia yard. Picture: Storyful

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Stay away from the Poisonous Manchineel, aka the “Tree of Death,” at All Costs

For all its raw beauty, nature can be pretty scary too. One minute you’re chomping a beautifully juicy green apple from a tropical branch, and the next your throat is rapidly closing up in a mad dash to the ER. Take the manchineel tree, for example. Sure, it’s nice to look at. But with a nickname like “tree of death,” don’t expect an entirely wonderful experience.

Danger! Watch out for yourself

The machineel is the most dangerous tree in the world. But just by looking, you would never know it. The tree is a beachy, tropical plant that generally looks like any other, save for its abundance of shiny green fruits. It’s native to Central America, the Caribbean, northern parts of South America, and tropical regions of North America, including South Florida.

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The Toxin in “The Suicide Tree” Has Been Called the Perfect Murder Weapon

By now you know not to be fooled by nature’s wonders, right? The Cerbera odollam, for instance, is a perfectly beautiful, lush green tree. But, oh no. This unassuming plant isn’t called the “suicide tree” for nothing. It can accurately also be called the “murder tree,” too. Whatever you want to call it, just keep your distance.

Lethal Weapon Seed

The Cerbera odollam is a medium-sized hardwood tree, endemic to India and southeast Asia, that can grow up to 32 feet (10 meters) tall. Nothing remarkable there. It’s not like this tree is trying to kill you, but it can. Pretty easily too, no thanks to the excessively toxic chemical cerberin in its seeds.

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University of Queensland team discovers new bandy-bandy snake at Weipa in the north of the continent

SCIENTISTS searching for sea snakes never expected to stumble across this find.

In a chance discovery, a team of biologists were returning from a sea snake research mission when they found a new venomous snake species for Australia.

The team, led The University of Queensland’s Associate Professor Bryan Fry, uncovered a new species of bandy-bandy snake at Weipa on the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula in the far north of the country.

Prof Fry said bandy-bandies were burrowing snakes so they were surprised they when found it on a concrete block near the sea edge, after coming in from a night of sea snake spotting.

“We later determined that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship,” he said.

“On examination by my student Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually and genetically distinct from those found on the Australian East coast and parts of the interior.”

The team found another specimen in its natural habitat near Weipa, and yet another killed by a car close to the mine.

Two more of the snakes were found in museum collections and a photo was found of another, contributing to a total of six observations in the same small region.

But Prof Fry said he feared the new species could already be in trouble and in danger of extinction due to mining.

“Bauxite mining is a major economic activity in the area, and it may be reshaping the environment to the detriment of our native plants and animals,” he said.

“The importance of such discoveries goes beyond simply documenting what is out there, as venoms are rich sources of compounds that can be used to develop new medications.

“Every species is precious and we need to protect them all, since we can’t predict where the next wonder-drug will originate from.

“The discovery of this enigmatic little snake is symptomatic of the much more fundamental problem of how little we know about our biodiversity and how much may be lost forever before we even discover it.”

Associate Professor Bryan Fry looking for snakes near Weipa, Queensland.

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Henry Sapiecha

Missing Indonesian woman found in belly of a giant python snake

WARNING: GRAPHIC

AN Indonesian woman has been found in the gut of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while working her vegetable garden, police have said.

The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found on Friday when villagers cut open the seven-metre python which was found bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi.

“Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden,” said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.

“The snake’s belly was slit open and the body of the female victim was found inside.”

The body of Wa Tiba was found when villagers cut open the seven-metre python. Picture: AFP

Some 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a frantic search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden on Thursday night.

Hamka said villagers found the giant python lying about 30 metres from Ms Tiba’s sandals and machete, adding she was swallowed head first and her body was found intact.

The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to a variety of snakes, Hamka added.

Giant python snakes, which regularly exceed six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

While the snakes have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.

In March 2017, a farmer was killed by a python in the village of Salubiro on Sulawesi island.

Originally published as Missing woman eaten whole by python

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Henry Sapiecha

The Pisonia Tree Lures and Murders Birds for No Apparent Good Reason

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Someone should tell that to the Pisonia tree, a ruthless plant that kills birds just for the heck of it. You may be asking, “Why?” Well, the tree should respond, “Why not?”

Oh Murder Tree, Oh Murder Tree!

If you didn’t think a plant — a tree, no less — could be a jerk, think again. Found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, the Pisonia tree fits the bill as one of the most unnecessarily cruel plants in the planet. While it’s not uncommon for plants to have built-in defense mechanisms, those things are usually there to keep the plant safe from preditors. But scientists have yet to uncover any benefit the Pisonia tree could possibly receive for luring birds in only just to murder them.

Here’s what happens at the crime scene: the Pisonia tree produces sticky seedpods that trap insects, luring in hungry birds with the promise of an easy lunch. These seedpods are so sticky that they’ll latch onto any bird that flies into them, either trapping it in the tree’s branches or weighing the bird down stosuch a extent that it’s completely unable to fly. As a result, you’ll see a blanket of bird carcasses littering the roots of the Pisonia tree. There are sometimes even mummified bird corpses up in the branches that look like, as Washington Post describes them, “macabre Christmas tree ornaments.”

Ecologist Alan Burger at the University of Victoria first heard of the Pisonia in the 1990s and went to the archipelago of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean to work out why these slaughterous trees seemed to kill just for the hell of it. Until then, no one had looked too hard into the Pisonia tree, but there were two main theories as to why they were bird-tormentors: either the tree’s roots got a nutrient bump from the dead birds, or the seeds attached to the dead birds because they required the corpse as fertilizer in order to grow. After 10 months of research with the Pisonia seeds, Burger published his findings in 2005.

The conclusion? Pisonia trees are just out & out ruthless. “The results from my experiments showed quite convincingly that the Pisonia derived no obvious benefit from fatally entangling birds,” writes Burger. But not only did dead birds not benefit the tree in any way, but the droppings of living birds would also help the trees survive by enriching the soil. It turns out, then, that killing birds isn’t necessarily the goal. Birds flying away from the tree with sticky seeds attached helps keep the tree species alive by spreading the seeds far and wide. It’s just one of those evolutionary whoopsies that the seeds sprout in clusters — heavy, self-sabotaging, bird-murdering clusters.

Curious for more of nature’s killers? Check out “Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.” The audiobook is free with a trial of Audible.

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Henry Sapiecha