Python facts, nonvenomous & largest snake (Pythonidae) size

Python is a non-venomous snake, These snakes are native to Australia Africa, and Asia. They are also well known largest snakes in the world and come in all shapes and sizes ranging from 24 inches or 61 centimeters to 30 feet or 9 meters long.

Python snake

Hybrid Python
Python Image Credit

The snake shape one the longest Python the reticulated python is in fact the longest snake in the world, not the largest bull constrictors have that on lock the longest captive. Python on record goes to Medusa in Kansas city who is 25 feet or seven-point six meters long in the wild. They tend to be a bit bigger the longest being just under 33 feet or 10 meters long.

Pythons are known as old-world snakes as they still have remnants of a pelvis hind legs and they still have two lungs where other snakes have evolved to only have one as to free up more space for swallowing prey. Their vestigial hind legs are located on either side of their cloaca and resemble short Spurs which they use to grip into females during sex.

Pythonidae - Wikipedia
Python Photo Credit

Unlike smaller snakes that move in winding patterns, Pythons primarily move using what’s called Rectilinear progression. Basically they move straight forward in a line by leveraging their ribs against the ground and lifting their bellies forward like an inchworm only less exaggerated. This allows them to move at the lightning speed of one mile or 1.6 kilometers an hour.

A pythons meal depends on the size of the Python. Until pythons eat Rodents and Lizards. Rock pythons eat Antelopes and Goats and Burmese¬†pythons bellied Alligators sometimes. A python’s eyes are bigger than its stomach resulting in Alligators and porcupines bursting out of their bellies kinda like aliens but they don’t chew. They just swallow them whole contrary to popular belief Python doesn’t actually unhinge their jaws but instead, their jaws are loosely connected with ligaments and not only open top to bottom but left to right.

Digestion of Pythons

Python snake
Pythons Image Credit

This allows them to eat prey three times larger than their mouths inside these flexible mouths are sharp teeth that curve inward preventing the prey from escaping their doom. They slide their valves over their prey their muscles move it into their stomach and then they begin the slow digestion process. They won’t always digest the whole meal as it takes time and they may need to flee in the face of danger depending on the size of the meal.

They may not eat for another year there’s an urban legend out there pet pythons sizing up their owner by lying down next to them to see if they’re big enough to eat them but this totally isn’t true. Pythons do not measure prey they’re ambush hunters and nothing gives away in ambush like lounging out next to your prey when they kill, they strike quickly and if the meal is too large they will regurgitate it.

Green tree python
Green snake Image Credit

Like boa constrictors pythons are non-venomous and killed via constriction which is to suffocate not crush bone they strike quickly gripping their prey with their teeth and then they coil their body around the prey suffocating it. However, a study on boa constrictors in 2015 found that they don’t constrict to suffocate their prey but rather to restrict blood flow to the brain. Although it’s not clear if pythons do the same species also make very popular pets and lifelong companions as they can live around 40 years in captivity.

Burmese python

Burmese Python
Burmese Image Credit

This has led to a big problem in Florida basically people reported them from Southeast Asia’s pets back in the 80s. They got too big and were released or escaped and suddenly the Florida Everglades had a huge Burmese python problem. The pythons can reproduce very quickly and have been wiping out local Bobcat Fox and Raccoon populations to combat.

Giant python
Giant snake Image Credit

This issue the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has organized an annual Python hunt which Award $1000 for the largest Python killed and a thousand 500 for the most pythons killed luckily if there have been very few human deaths due to Burmese pythons with only 16 deaths between 1978 and 2009 in the United States and seven of those were from captive pythons

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