JMU student researchers take on Florida python problem

What’s the best way to trap a Burmese python? After more than two decades of trying to solve that conundrum, it may come down to the flick of a tongue — the flick of a python tongue to be more precise.

Biology major Shannon Richard, who has spent hours watching video of pythons navigating mazes and recording their behaviors, said the results look promising.

Richard is working with Ricky Flores, a senior chemistry major, and Dr. Rocky Parker, an assistant professor of biology, on the project that has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ever since pythons got loose in Florida, they have become an ecological nightmare, specifically in the Everglades. Pythons, like all snakes, will eat anything they can get their mouths around, from fish to birds to rodents to … well, you name it. And since they have no native predators in their invasive range, they’re free to eat and reproduce at will.

Read more on the Madison Scholar blog.