Pythons are a type of reptile. This means that they are covered in scales, hatch from eggs, and most importantly, are cold-blooded.
This means that they cannot regulate their own body temperature, and must rely on the environment to heat up or cool down.
Are pythons snakes?
Pythons are nonvenomous snakes. They do not use venom to catch their prey. Instead, they belong to the group of snakes called constrictors.
These snakes latch onto their prey and coil around them, slowly squeezing the air out of them until they die.
They then swallow their prey whole, starting with the head. They do this so that the limbs of their prey do not get stuck in their throats as they eat them.
There are 41 different types, or species, of pythons. This makes them one of the largest families of snakes in the entire world.
Where do you find pythons?
They are only found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. They inhabit a wide range of habitats. They can live in rainforest, grasslands, woodlands, swamps, mountains, and deserts.
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Even in the wild, pythons are one of the longest living species of snakes. They have been found in the wild to have lived up to and over 30 years old.
The larges species of python is the reticulated python. These gigantic snakes have been found in the wild measuring over 30 feet in length and 250 lbs.
This makes them large enough to eat deer, crocodiles, and wild pigs whole!
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the pygmy python. Unlike its humongous cousin, this snake is only 20 inches in length and only weighs about 7 ounces.
The patterns on the each of the different species of pythons vary depending upon their environment.
Since these snakes are ambush predators, they rely on camouflage to help them blend into their environment.
This camouflage is usually green or brown, depending on where the python lives.
These colors allow them to blend in with their surroundings and surprise their prey so that they can latch on and eat them.
Most pythons prefer to live in trees, but some will live in abandoned burrows. If a python lives in a tree, it is referred to as arboreal. If they prefer to live on the ground, they are referred to as terrestrial.
Depending on where they live, pythons might be nocturnal (awake at night), or diurnal (awake during the day).
This mostly depends on how hot the weather is where they live. If it is really hot during the day, the snakes prefer to be up and about at night.
How do pythons use their senses?
Like most snakes, pythons do not have ears. They instead rely on the vibrations they feel on the ground to tell when prey or danger is near.
Pythons also don’t smell with their noses like we do. They instead use their forked tongues to taste the air. They have special receptors in their mouth that take the scent molecules so that they can locate their prey.
Like most snakes, pythons hatch from eggs. A mother python will lay up to 100 eggs in a single clutch. These snakes are not good mothers, and will not take care of their young.