Royal Pythons

Python regius


Distribution, Climate & Habitat:
this python lives in grasslands and open woodland in parts of West and Central Africa. Requires tropical temperatures and high humidity Size: most reach lengths between 90 to 130 centimetres, but records of 150 centimetres or more are known


Diet:
almost exclusively small rodents such as rats, gerbils and jerboas

Appearance:
quite variable, but usually a yellowish-brown above with a black net-like pattern and blotches along the back and sides; white below with a few black bands. Often a golden-coloured stripe along the upper side of the tail. A relatively short, chunky snake. As with other pythons, there are heat-sensitive pits along the upper lip that aid in catching prey

Habits:
nocturnal, sheltering among rocks and in burrows by day; at night it actively hunts for small rodents by investigating their burrows. The mouth has many small, backward-pointed teeth that serve to grasp the prey and help to swallow it, not kill it; the prey is dispatched instead by constriction - the muscular body of the snake wraps around the small rodent and, each time the prey breaths out, the snake tightens its coils, until eventually the rodent cannot breath in any longer and suffocates. The prey will then be eaten, head first. To cope with seasonal fluctuations in food supply, Royal pythons can go without eating for periods in excess of a year!

Fascinating Fact:
Americans call the Royal python a "ball" python because, when threatened, the snake curls itself up into a tight ball and places its head in the centre, thereby protecting it from damage unfortunately the pet trade have used this trait as a positive selling point but when you think about it, a snake that is a good pet because it is scared……? The Royal python has been known to live up to 40 years in captivity, are you sure you want a pet that lives that long?



DO NOT ASSUME A ZOO WILL TAKE THIS ANIMAL OFF YOU IN THE FUTURE - THEY WILL NOT.

 

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