Pythons

41 species

Pythons are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Most members of this family are ambush predators, in that they typically remain motionless in a camouflaged position, and then strike suddenly at passing prey. Attacks on humans, although known to occur, are extremely rare. Pythons use their sharp, backward-curving teeth to grasp prey which is then killed by constriction; after an animal has been grasped to restrain it, the python quickly wraps a number of coils around it. Contrary to popular belief, even the larger species, such as the reticulated python, do not crush their prey to death; in fact, prey is not even noticeably deformed before it is swallowed. The speed with which the coils are applied is impressive and the force they exert may be significant, but death is caused by cardiac arrest. Pythons are oviparous. After they lay their eggs, females typically incubate them until they hatch. This is achieved by causing the muscles to \"shiver\", which raises the temperature of the body to a certain degree, and thus that of the eggs. Keeping the eggs at a constant temperature is essential for healthy embryo development. During the incubation period, females do not eat and leave only to bask to raise their body temperature. Many species have been hunted aggressively, which has greatly reduced the population of some, such as the Indian python. Most species in this family are available in the exotic pet trade.
Pythons are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Most members of this family are ambush predators, in that they typically remain motionless in a camouflaged position, and then strike suddenly at passing prey. Attacks on humans, although known to occur, are extremely rare. Pythons use their sharp, backward-curving teeth to grasp prey which is then killed by constriction; after an animal has been grasped to restrain it, the python quickly wraps a number of coils around it. Contrary to popular belief, even the larger species, such as the reticulated python, do not crush their prey to death; in fact, prey is not even noticeably deformed before it is swallowed. The speed with which the coils are applied is impressive and the force they exert may be significant, but death is caused by cardiac arrest. Pythons are oviparous. After they lay their eggs, females typically incubate them until they hatch. This is achieved by causing the muscles to \"shiver\", which raises the temperature of the body to a certain degree, and thus that of the eggs. Keeping the eggs at a constant temperature is essential for healthy embryo development. During the incubation period, females do not eat and leave only to bask to raise their body temperature. Many species have been hunted aggressively, which has greatly reduced the population of some, such as the Indian python. Most species in this family are available in the exotic pet trade.