10th November 01:49
Exotic Herps in the Everglades
It is really only a matter of time before salvators become established,
too. I wonder what will happen when the salvators start encountering
the Niles. My guess is that the salvators will suppress the Niles,
since Niles are specialized more for dealing with hard shelled food
while salvators have more adaptations for feeding on large vertebrates
(such as Nile monitors) and are bigger than Niles as well. You might
get some interesting habitat partitioning going on after a while, with
the hardier Niles being driven to less desirable habitats (I think
something similar happens where salvator and mangrove monitors' ranges
overlap, but I'd have to look at my books at home to be sure).
The scary thing about the salvators is that they have a high tolerance
for salt water, unlike Niles, and are also exceptional swimmers. Once
they become established in Florida, I'd expect them to move to the
Caribbean islands and down the Atlantic coast of Central and South
America, possibly colonizing the Amazon river basin. At Panama they may
be able to cross over to the Pacific coast as well.
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