Don’t Miss Tonight – Inside Nature’s Giants: The Python
On Channel 4 at 9pm, we’ll see the show’s experts venture into the swamps of the Florida Everglades, where giant Burmese pythons are thriving.
Many have been released into the wild by pet owners or have escaped from reptile breeding centres, and now up to 100,000 are threatening some native species with extinction.
Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg meet ‘python hunters’ in the Everglades who are attempting to control the pythons’ numbers through a cull, and join reptile expert Jeanette Wyneken to dissect two pythons: a nine-foot male and an enormous 14-foot female…
The programme reveals the anatomy that allows pythons to sense, strike, squeeze and swallow their prey. They investigate the remains of the snakes’ last meals and make an amazing discovery in the female: ovaries bulging with 40 egg follicles ready to be fertilised.
Richard Dawkins describes how snakes evolved from four-legged lizard-like ancestors, and biologist Simon Watt finds out what it feels like to be crushed by a real-life python.
The programme explores the science of slithering, how snakes have developed ‘infra-red goggles’, which allow them to hunt warm-blooded prey in the dark, and how a flexible jaw allows pythons to stretch their mouths around huge prey, including alligators.