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Python’s homing trick stuns scientists

The Burmese python has a built-in compass that allows it to slither home in a near-straight line even if released dozens of kilometres away, researchers said Wednesday. Although native to South and Southeast Asia, the snakes have taken up residence in South Florida’s Everglades National Park, possibly after being released as unwanted pets. Scientists captured six of the pythons in the Everglades, placed them in sealed, plastic containers, and drove them to locations between 21 and 36 kilometres (13-22 miles) away. “This study provides evidence that Burmese pythons have navigational map and compass senses,” the authors wrote.

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