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Python Snake Facts

Pythons use sharp teeth to kill prey and wrap a coil around it to prevent it from moving.

It typically eats smaller prey such as house cats, although an adult deer has been eaten.

The larger reticulated pythons do not crush their prey to death. In fact, they cause cardiac arrest.

Python Snake Facts for Kids

  • Pythons are the largest species of snake.
  • Their habitats include rainforests, savannas, and deserts.
  • Pythons are constrictors.
  • They don’t use venom to catch their prey.
  • They are  found in Africa, Asia, and Australia
  • They swallow their prey whole after killing it.

Where do Pythons Live?

They live in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The python habitats are diverse. Rainforests, grasslands, woods, swamps, mountains, and deserts are all home to them.

Pythons are one of the longest-living snakes in the wild. These animals can live to more than 30 years old in the wild.

The reticulated python is the largest species of python. They can reach lengths of over 30 feet and weigh over 250 pounds.

These animals are so large that they can eat deer, crocodiles, and wild pigs whole!

What do Pythons Look Like?

There are many species of python, each with its own pattern. Because these snakes hunt in ambush, they use camouflage to blend in.

Facts for Kids x
Facts for Kids

According to where the python lives, the camouflage is usually green or brown. By blending in with their surroundings, they surprise their prey so that they can latch on.

Some pythons live in abandoned burrows, but most prefer living in trees. Pythons that live in trees are called arboreal snakes. They are described as terrestrial if they prefer to live on the ground.

Pythons may be diurnal (awake during the day) or nocturnal, depending on where they live. The temperature has a lot to do with it. The snakes are most active at night when it is really hot during the day.

Hunting and feeding habits

Pythons use sharp teeth to kill prey and wrap a coil around it to prevent it from moving.

Most large specimens eat animals about the size of house cats, though an adult deer has been eaten.

The larger reticulated pythons do not crush their prey to death. In fact, they cause cardiac arrest.

Reproduction

Pythons lay eggs and incubate them until they hatch. They do not eat and bask to raise their body temperature while incubating.

Types of Pythons

There are 41 different python species found worldwide. The larger python species are found in tropical areas. The smaller ones are found in temperate climates.

We have selected a small selection of this snake species below.

African Rock Python

The African rock python is a large snake found in sub-Saharan Africa. It has two subspecies, one in Central and Western Africa and the other in Southern Africa.

Africa’s largest snake is often found near water sources. The African rock python kills its prey by constriction and sometimes even eats crocodiles. It is found in various habitats and is not endangered.

A typical African rock python adult measures 3 to 3.53 m (9 ft 10 into 11 ft 7 in) and weighs 44 to 55 kg (97 to 121 lb), but some specimens can exceed 7 m (23 ft 0 in) in length.

The African rock python has many different colors and is marked on top with a dark brown “spearhead.” It has heat-sensitive pits around its lips and two functioning lungs.

African Rock Python was seen eating a large adult male spotted hyena weighing 70 kg (150 lb) on March 1, 2017, suggesting that the snake is capable of eating larger and more dangerous animals than previously thought.

Ball Python

The ball python is the smallest African constrictor, native to West and Central Africa, growing to a maximum length of 182 cm (72 in).

They are black and brown, with light brown blotches on the back and sides, a white or cream belly, a small head, and smooth scales. They can reach a maximum adult length of 182 cm (6.0 ft) and reach a maximum weight of 3.44 lbs.

This species of ball python is known for its defense strategy of coiling into a tight ball when threatened, with its head and neck tucked away in the middle.

Their diet in the wild consists mainly of small mammals and birds; small mammals include the Gambian pouched rats, black rats, rufous-nosed rats, shaggy rats, and striped grass mice.

Burmese Python

The Burmese python is a large species of snake native to Southeast Asia. It is an invasive species in Florida because of the pet trade.

The Burmese python is found in several places throughout Southern and Southeast Asia, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and some places in China.

Burmese pythons are nocturnal rainforest dwellers, which spend the majority of their time in the underbrush. They can survive the winter in a hollow tree or hole, and they prepare their reproductive organs for the upcoming breeding season.

They are carnivorous snake that eats birds, mammals, and amphibians primarily but will also eat amphibians and reptiles. It is often found near human habitation due to its affinity for rats and mice and is sometimes treated as a pest.

Reticulated Python

A reticulated python is a species of snake native to Southeast Asia. It is hunted for its skin and used in traditional medicine.

The reticulated python is the heaviest of the pythons, has been reported swimming out to sea, and is non-venomous.

The reticulated python is an ambush predator that is most capable of swallowing prey up to one-quarter of its own length and weight and is capable of snatching stray chickens, cats, and dogs.

The reticulated python is one of the few snakes that prey on humans and has been found to attack humans and has been responsible for several reported human fatalities.

Green tree Python

The green tree python is a bright green snake that lives in trees and hunts and eats small reptiles and mammals. 

It has a slim body, long tail, a large head, and a triangular body with a visible spine. It usually reaches a length of 150 – 180 cm, with males being larger and weighing more and females heavier.

The emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus) rests in the branches of trees and places its head in the middle.

They eat small mammals such as rodents, geckos, and skinks, and sometimes birds. It also holds a branch and constricts its prey.

How do Boa Constrictors Kill Their Prey

Pythons kill their prey by constriction after grabbing it in their long teeth. This is not the same as crushing.

Constricting snakes like the python do not break their prey’s bones with their strength. It has been suggested that pythons suffocate their prey by squeezing their ribs.

An interesting paper published in 2015, however, disproved the long-held suffocation theory of boa constrictors. As a result of squeezing, the circulatory system is overwhelmed, and blood is cut off from the brain, resulting in death.

This method is also used by pythons, according to scientists.