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Reef Report for Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Things We See in Summer in Far North Queensland
(of the Slithering Kind)

While temperatures are mild year-round in the Australian tropics a lot of animals become much more active and visibly present during our warmer and wetter summer months. This is especially true of insects and reptiles; many species of which go into a dormant or inactive state in our drier and cooler months, then come out to live their lives (eating and reproducing) with the first rains of summer.

Sometimes their presence can be a bit of a nuisance. In our own suburban backyard we noticed that there was a large snake around, evidenced by two very long shed skins we had found.

Recently one warm sunny afternoon we heard a commotion from the chicken enclosure, and running up there, found one large Amethystine Python wound around one very upset hen. I jumped into the enclosure and managed to safely separate the snake from the hen. The hen was safe but (literally) ruffled, missing a mouthful of feathers that were still in the snakeís mouth.

The snake acted like it was ready for another crack at the chicken, but was surprisingly docile given the rather abrupt separation from it's intended prey. Iíve encountered a number of Amethystine Pythons, some almost 4 metres long, and fortunately most have been pretty placid.

The snake ended up in a pillowcase, and later that afternoon we took it out into the forest to release it away from human interference. Have a look at the video we shot of the release of the snake.

A few more bits of news about snakes in Cairns:

Itís raining snakes!

Snake egg clutches hatch in Cairns homes and offices.

One very large python eats a wallaby in the backyard.

Contact us if youíd like help with planning your visit to the area. Thereís plenty of ways to safely view our unique wildlife during your visit, and we can help with that!

Be sure to have a look at all our videos on the DiveTheReef Youtube Channel

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

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