Did you know that the Burmese python is the world’s longest snake? Or that it can weigh up to 200 pounds? These are just some of the incredible facts about this fascinating creature. The following are 13 additional facts that will fascinate you about the Burmese python.
A python is a BIG, non-venomous snake that basically constricts its prey. Pythons can be found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The Burmese python is a distant relative (subspecies) of the Indian python and is native to Southeast Asia. The Burmese python can be found in the wild, but it is also a popular pet among snake lovers. Here are 13 fascinating facts you might not have known about the Burmese python.
1. It Can Grow LONG
The Burmese python can grow BIG and LONG and can reach also 20 feet in length. The usual length of a Burmese python is between 12 and 18 feet.
2. The Heaviest Is More than 400 Pounds
The heaviest recorded Burmese python weighs in at 402 pounds. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this Burmese python is kept by an owner in Gurnee, Illinois, in the United States.
3. It Can Live Long
The Burmese python can live up to 30 years in captivity. In the wild, however, its lifespan is much shorter, usually only reaching about 20 years. The difference is due to the lack of hazards when a snake is kept in captivity.
4. It Can Eat BIG Animals
The Burmese python is an apex predator, meaning it has no natural predators. This allows it to hunt and eat animals as large as deer. In the wild, however, Burmese pythons will usually eat smaller mammals like mice, rodents or rabbits.
5. There are Some Rare Albino Burmese Pythons
Albino animals are those that lack pigment in their skin, hair or eyes. Albino Burmese pythons are very rare and are often sought after by snake collectors. While the usual color of a Burmese python is dark brown, albino Burmese pythons are a creamy white color, with orange-colored rings or shapes on them.
6. It Hibernates in the Winter
Like many other snakes, the Burmese python hibernates during the winter months. It typically finds a warm, dark place to sleep, such as a cave or burrow. When it hibernates, the snake’s metabolism slows down and it doesn’t eat for several months.
7. It Is a Good Swimmer
The Burmese python is a good swimmer and is often found near water. It is not afraid of the water and will even dive underwater to catch its prey. As a matter of factt, a Burmese python can keep his breath and stay underwater for up to 30 minutes at a time.
8. Pythons Are Not Venomous
Given the size, weight and length they can grow to, many people believe pythons to be a deadly poisonous snake. In fact, pythons are not venomous snakes. They kill their prey by wrapping their body around it and squeezing it until it suffocates. This means they are still deadly, but not because of venom.
9. It Is Native to Southeast Asia
The Burmese python is a subspecies of the Indian python and is native to Southeast Asia. It can be found in countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. By contrast, the Indian python is the largest subspecies of python and can grow to be even larger than the Burmese python. The Reticulated python is another subspecies of python that can grow to be just as large as the Burmese python.
10. It Is Now Considered an Invasive Species
The Burmese python is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world, including the United States. This is because they are not native to these areas and can cause harm to the local ecosystem. In the United States, they are often found in the Everglades in Florida. It is estimated that there are now over 100,000 Burmese pythons in the Everglades. This is a problem because they are eating native animals and disrupting the food chain.
11. Females Lay Up to 36 Eggs
The female Burmese python can lay up to 36 eggs at a time. They typically lay anywhere between 12 and 36 eggs in March or April. The eggs are incubated by the female for about two months before they hatch. Once they have hatched, they immediately go off on their own.
12. They Are Solitary Creatures
Burmese pythons are solitary creatures and typically only come together to mate. They will often fight each other if they are in close proximity. After mating, the female will typically leave the area and go off on her own to lay her eggs. Newly hatched Burmese pythons do not try to stay near the mother or near each other.
13. They Eat Every 1 to 2 Months
The Burmese python is a relatively slow-moving snake. It does not need to eat very often and will typically only eat every one to two months. When it does eat, it will consume a large amount of food. This is because the snake’s metabolism is very slow and it takes a long time to digest food. Some Burmese pythons have even gone for several months without eating.
Burmese pythons are fascinating creatures. While they may be considered a nuisance in some parts of the world, there is no denying that they are unique and interesting snakes. If you ever get lucky to see one up close, don’t forget to take a closer look. You may be surprised by what you see and learn.