Oh, sure, those pythons get all the headlines, but they're far from the only giant reptile that has invaded Florida.
Nile monitors, part of a family of huge, meat-eating lizards that are the closest thing to dragons on the face of the Earth, have also long been in Florida. Like pythons, they likely originally came to Florida as pets. Turns out they're notoriously difficult to care for (just look at that thing), and irresponsible owners let them escape into the wild. They've been in the Florida wild for 26 years, and at least 1,000 lizards in three distinct mating populations call the state home. They're most often found in Cape Coral, West Palm Beach, and Homestead, and they can be vicious. Though they probably wouldn't survive a fight with a full-grown alligator or crocodile, they are known to munch of those reptiles' eggs.
Science has decided that this phenomenon should be investigated further. According to the Atlantic, Fordham University's Stephanie Dowell looked at the animal's DNA to determine which of two distinct species of Nile monitors is most common in Florida.
Turns out all the ones tested were West African Nile monitors, which is good news. Sort of. Turns out South Florida has a strikingly similar climate to West Africa, and the lizards can't survive terribly well outside of that type of climate. That means the lizards aren't likely to expand beyond their existing South Florida hot spots.
However, if the West African Nile monitor's close cousin from South Africa ever makes its way to Florida, that could cause a real problem for the rest of America. Those things can survive the cold and could spread far wider. That lizard is so pre-adapted to the North American climate that it could spread almost to Chicago, "even without climate change," Dowell's supervisor Evon Hekkala tells the Atlantic.
By the way, if you ever happen to come across a wild Nile monitor, you should report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at ivegot1.org.
Florida Man Adopts "Bruce Jenner" as His Name to Preserve Its "Heterosexual Roots"
The Florida man formerly known as Mark Behar thinks Caitlyn Jenner decided to publicly gender-transition only for fame and attention.
That seems a bit hypocritical given that Behar recently changed his name to "Bruce Jenner" for reasons that certainly seem to be suspiciously similar to fame and attention.
Incidentally, the Delray Beach-based bodyguard worked occasionally for the Kardashian and Jenner clan and even showed up in a Season 4 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, boxing against Caitlyn back when she was the only celebrity known as Bruce Jenner.
Now the bodyguard has legally changed his name to "Bruce Jenner."
“This name once stood for America, and I just want to keep it alive,” he told the New York Daily News. “I’ve been seeing so many idols and athletes and icons die because of stupid stuff like drugs, die because of age... We’re losing icons. We're losing names. We’re losing people faster than we ever have.”
He further says the original Jenner transitioned solely for "hype," and Jenner/Behar's "media representative" tells the paper that "the famous Bruce Jenner name will return to its heterosexual roots where our client believes it belongs."
How anyone who hired a media representative to promote his name change can accuse anyone of doing something purely for hype is beyond comprehension.
In any event, now that she's known as Angela Kardashian, the former Blac Chyna's name is also up for grabs too if anyone wants that one.
Florida Woman Punched Clerk Who Confronted Her About Groin Cheetos
Melissa Mower thought she could get away with stealing a six-pack of Bud Light Lime and a bag of Cheetos Puffs (a traditional Florida feast) from a store in Indian Rocks Beach, but a clerk caught her red-handed. According to the Smoking Gun, Mower returned the Bud Light Lime but stuffed the bag of Cheetos up her sundress and into "her groin area."
The clerk really wanted those now-groin-contaminated Cheetos back and followed Mower outside the store. When confronted, Mower hit the clerk in the left eye. The blow caused swelling and bruising.
Turns out she was just living that Cheetos-brand lifestyle by being "Dangerously Cheesy."
She was arrested on charges of theft and battery.