Pythons the animal are famous snakes that have been utilized as fashion inspiration and as pets. Despite their origins in Asia and Africa, python snakes are now found all over the world. Let’s take a look at these amazing python facts.
1. Pythons are snakes without venom
Pythons are among the largest snakes on the planet. However, they do not generate deadly venom like other snake species. This makes them not dangerous to humans. You will only face two potential risks by pythons: being attacked by their razor-sharp fangs and being constricted. Nevertheless, none of them are lethal.
Because most python snakes are not large enough to constrict humans, you are unlikely to be coiled around. Yet, there are still some python species, such as Indian python, African rock, Burmese, and Reticulated python that are large enough to crush an adult human.
However, there’s a small chance that you’ll be bitten by a python snake. If you don’t do anything to them, you’re fine. A python only attacks humans when they are threatened; its bite is not always intended to kill.
To move, python snakes slide forward in a straight path due to their size. They straighten their ribs to brace themselves against the ground, then raise their belly and push forward. The way they move is known as “rectilinear progression” movement. Python snakes can only move at a slow speed of one mile per hour (1.6 kilometers per hour).
The python snake is one of the laziest animals in the world. Aside from hunting and feeding, they sleep most of the time, about 18 hours every day. They can be active at any time of day or night, depending on the species, environment, and the activity of their prey.
The python is one of the laziest animals in the world, you may find more related guidelines below:
2. Their habitat
The python is native to the tropics of Australia, Africa, and Asia, making it an Old World snake. The Burmese python, although endemic to the Old World, has established itself in the Western Hemisphere.
Depending on the species, they can be found in rainforests, savannas, rocky outcrops, shrub regions, marshes, desert sand hills, and grasslands.
The majority of python snakes seek protection in branches of a tree or hollows, reeds, or disused mammal tunnels. The woma and black-headed python are the only ones to dig their own burrows. They use their heads to dig and curve their necks to scoop dirt out.
Despite their preference for living in the trees or on the ground, pythons are good swimmers. In the python family, the best swimmer is the Burmese python, while ball python snakes come in second. They dive into the water and hold their breath, but they cannot breathe underwater.
3. Pythons can be good pets
Pythons, particularly the ball python, are among the most common snakes to keep as pets. Ball pythons are friendly snakes, they like curling themselves around your arm or hip.
Although these python snakes are not poisonous and do not harm humans, their bites can be very painful. And they can bite you so tight that you must pry their jaws apart and free their grip. In a few species (the green tree python), they have fangs, however, they only employed these teeth to grab and cling to their food.
If you want to keep a python as pet, you should keep the smaller ones, such as blood pythons or the ball python. These species pose a lower risk of being bitten and constricted than larger species.
Most countries permit the sale or exchange of ball pythons without limitation. However, without a license, it is illegal to have any pet snakes in Hawaii. Some areas can also have legal limits, so look into these in your location. However, because ball pythons are so amiable and non-invasive, most regions have no laws against them.
Averagely, it will cost you about $25 to $300, or maybe more, to have a ball python. This snake requires a protective enclosure, as well as a supplier of heat and food. Depending on your needs, a typical beginning cost would be around $40. And you will need to pay $150 to $200 for maintenance costs.
4. They squeeze to kill their prey
Pythons, like other snakes, do not pursue their victim. They, instead, attack them by surprise. They locate prey, then stay still in a camouflage posture and attack them quickly.
To locate prey, python snakes use their sight and scent. They use their tongues to taste the air to detect the presence of prey. Along their jaws, there are temperature-sensitive “pits,” or holes that are used to detect the heat of animals nearby. This ability enables them to locate warm-blooded prey in the dark or among thick plants.
Because python snakes are not venomous, they kill their prey in a unique way known as the “squeezy.”
After capturing prey with its sharp, backward-curving teeth, the python swiftly wraps its body around the prey and squeezes as tight as it can. This method doesn’t aim to crush and break the prey’s bones. Instead of that, the python snake wants to make them breathless. Every time the victim exhales, the python tightens its coils to fill up space, resulting in suffocation. By hearing the prey’s heart beating, the python snake knows when to let go of its coils and start feeding.
5. Python snakes can kill you
As a type of snake, pythons consume their prey entirely, starting with the head first. Their super malleable skin and their skull’s joint which can flex and fold to optimize mouth space enable exceptionally large types of food to pass via its esophagus.
This is performed by the use of regular muscle contractions that draw the prey down the snake’s neck and into its stomach. The python snake has a unique tube at the bottom of its mouth that keeps open to one side to allow air to enter.
Depending on the python snake’s size, they consume a variety of prey, including lizards, rodents, birds, and mammals like pigs, hares, monkeys, antelope, opossums, and wallabies. They’re also able to eat fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Smaller species concentrate on smaller animals like ducks, chickens, and mice. Whereas larger ones typically hunt larger prey, such as crocodiles and deer. A small leopard was even found in the stomach of one rock python!
After finishing their meal, they seek a warm area to rest to digest food. Except for fur and feathers, everything will be digested. Their excrement contains undigested stuff. Each python snake has different time to digest, depending on the size of the prey. Larger prey can satisfy the snake for weeks or months. These creatures only need to feed 4-5 times per year.
There have been numerous reports of python attacks on humans. A rock python, for example, had murdered and was about to eat a young man. Unfortunately, the guy died as a result of snake-related injuries.
Because of numerous attacks on humans, python reticulatus – the biggest snake – is regarded as the largest snake most likely to eat humans. A dead Indonesian man’s body was discovered inside a reticulated python in 2017. This was the first time an adult human had been eaten by a snake.
Despite their big size, pythons have predators. A variety of birds, large insects and spiders, giant frogs, wild canines and hyenas, and even other snakes may attack and eat small and juvenile python snakes. Adult pythons, on the other hand, are threatened by birds of prey, as well as lions and leopards.
Their breeding season varies by species. Males utilize their huge spurs (vestigial limbs) to brush the female during courtship. During mating season, a battle between two male pythons is unavoidable. They hiss and push each other and act violently. However, they’d never bite or kill each other
Pythons are oviparous, which means they lay eggs. The female python snakes typically lay 12 to 36 eggs at a time. When the eggs are laid, the mother takes care of them by wrapping around to guard and warming them.
If the temperature in the nest drops, she will tighten her muscles in order to keep the eggs warm. This is referred to as shivering thermogenesis. The mother does not normally eat during this period and may only leave the nest to sunbathe.
However, once the eggs hatch (after 2 to 4 months) and the baby emerge, the mother will leave and let them live on their own with their instincts.
It takes about 5 years for baby snakes to develop and attain sexual maturity after hatching. These snakes can live in the wild for more than 20 years if they are not disturbed.
7. They live long, 40 years or more
In the wild, snakes can struggle to survive. A wild python above the age of 20 is unusual. Pet snakes, on the other hand, can survive for a very long time. For example, with adequate care, numerous ball pythons have lived until the age of 40!
According to the records, the oldest ball python lived in the Philadelphia Zoo and was 47 years old. Another snake, estimated to be 63 years old, lived in St. Louis in 2021!
8. They come in different colors
Python snakes have substantial differences in color, habitat, size, diet, and other characteristics. The skin hues of pythons are frequently identical to the colors of their environments, which makes them blend in well with the surroundings.
There are about 41 different python species all over the world. Popular species include the ball python, the Burmese python, the green tree python, the carpet python, and the reticulated python.
– The carpet python is one of the most popular species kept as a pet. Some carpet species come in varying colors. The northern carpet species, for instance, come with dark brown color with tan dots, whereas the jungle carpet python is black with golden yellow patterns. You can find them in New Guinea and Australia.
– The green tree python is native to Papua and Iran Jaya, New Guinea, and Australia. It may reach a height of six feet (1.8 meters). The newborn green tree species will have a yellow color; but as it matures, it might turn green. Some varieties may have blue dots or remain yellow. Many green tree pythons have blue as an additional color. Solid blue pythons are highly rare and are known as “High-blue.”
– The ball python snake, a.k.a royal python, is also commonly kept as a pet. It comes with the black color with markings of brown, gold, or yellow. In capacity, it can live for 50 years and reach the height of 1.5 meters. When startled, the snake rolls into a ball; and that’s how it got its name.
There are more than 50 color variants of this species: black and white ball python, spider ball python (brown and golden), albino ball python (Bright yellow and white), banana morph (strong yellow), red, tiger ball python snake (light yellow which turns to orange along the sides),
– The Burmese python is one of the biggest snakes, reaching a length of 23 feet (approximately 7 meters) and weighing up to 200 pounds (about 90 kg). They are introduced species that are successfully living and reproducing in the Florida Everglades.
Burmese python snakes were originally imported to Florida as exotic pets. They then fled or were released by their owners. Their fast development also linked to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which devastated a Burmese species breeding facility, unleashing hundreds into the wild. In this area, they have no natural predators, which makes their number increase without any way of control.
– The reticulated python is the world’s longest snake in the world, reaching 35 feet (approximately 10.6 meters) in length. Their temperament may be affected by where it came from. The ones from the Lesser Sundas and Thailand tend to be more docile, whilst those from the Sulawesi Islands tend to be more aggressive. This longest snake in the world can consume birds, dogs, pigs, and even humans on occasion.