A Bully or a Nerd? The Python Snake

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Python snake
Indian Python. Photo by Berangere Duforets

When imaging the python snake, thoughts will come to mind of a massive creature that sneaks up on prey before striking. As a result, Python snakes are often seen as bullies. People think of them as stone cold killers (possibly because they are cold blooded) and imagine them as lords of their realm.

The question is, are Python snakes really bullies? Lets take a look at some Python facts to get a better understanding of how pythons operate. When you review these facts about python, you may be surprised by some of the things you learn.

1. If nothing else, know this of the Python Snake:

If you are going to know any facts about pythons, know this. Pythons are known as constrictors. This is because pythons will kill their prey by squeezing them. When squeezed, the prey eventually stops breathing and passes out, making an easy meal for the python. Once their pray is ready, a python will swallow their pray whole, digesting almost every part of the pray.

2. Time between meals

Python facts that people want to know often include questions about how long a python can go between meals. This depends on the size of the python, and the size of their meal. On average, a python will eat between 4 to 5 times every year. Every meals will last for weeks or months. Meals include antelopes, caimans, monkeys, and many other medium sized mammals.

3. What causes a python’s skin coloring?

Pythons are notoriously difficult to find because they are excellent at camouflage. This is because their skin blends in with the ground around them. What causes this? Well, the skin color will be based on the habitat the snake lives in, which is a result of natural selection. This camouflage helps snakes spring traps on their pray. In addition, the beautiful patterning has unfortunately made snake skin a popular commodity in the fashion industry.

4. Less a Bully, More a Nerd

The python snake can find prey primary through fluctuations in the surrounding heat. The python uses this to target its prey before attack. In addition, a female python can lay between 12-36 eggs. She will protect these eggs by coiling herself around them. This also keeps the eggs warm until they are ready to hatch. Though some people may consider python snakes a bully, it is important to note that pythons know a great deal about fluctuations in heat, making them excellent hunters.

Despite being sort of a Nerd, there’s currently a new front in the war on invasive snakes in Florida, and “Python Patrols” are a major part of it. According to the state’s officials, there are approximately 150,000 Burmese pythons occupying southern Florida. They’ve become top predators that devour native animals like alligators and other species.

Wildlife officials are now recruiting citizens and teaching them about the Python snake and other invasive species, training the people how to identify them and even how to capture these huge reptiles. Volunteers are spending hours in classrooms learning all the important facts about pythons and their relatives. These classes are planned to be held regularly on a monthly basis, with the goal of training hundreds of Python catchers. The volunteers then go outdoors into areas where python snakes have been released. They track them down and contain them.