Ball Python

by William Enriquez

Ball pythons got their name because when stressed or threatened they, have a tendency to curl up in a ball protecting their head in the middle. The ball python’s scientific name is python’s regius.  This species is also know in European and African countries as the royal python.  The ball python is a nonvenomous python.  This species of pythons is a very mild tempered reptile that would rather protect itself from an attack instead of doing the attacking.

 

Description

Adult ball pythons can reach about 5-6 feet long and females usually are a little bigger than males.  They are notorious for having a big head with a slim neck and a heavy thick body.  Also on the snakes a head they have yellow stripes that start from the nostrils and pass through their eyes.   Also female ball pythons have a longer jaw which allows females to swallow larger prey and provides females with an advantage in hunting for food.

 

Habitat

This species is native to Central Africa and Western Africa. Ball pythons thrive in grasslands, savannas, and lightly wooded areas.  This snake plays an important role in keeping an equal balance with the rodent and pest population.  The average daytime temperature in Central and Western Africa sees around 85 degrees.  As the sun goes down the temperature can drop several degrees.

 

Behavior

The ball python is not an aggressive species.  In the wild a ball python will use its camouflage patterns to avoid predators by hiding anywhere they would not be targeted as prey.  If spotted by a predator the python will try to protect its head by curling up into a ball with its head in the middle.  A last resort effort would be to try and flea its attacker while trying to lash out for defence.

 

Diet

Ball pythons in the wild will eat any small rodent that can be easily overpowered.  Theses snakes have also been known to eat small birds that are nesting on the ground.

 

Reproduction

The breeding season is once a year between mid-September and mid-November.  The female snake will lay between 1 and 11 eggs.  Once the eggs are laid the female snake will stay wrapped around the eggs for two months.  The reason for staying with the eggs is to keep them warm and protected from predators.  As soon as the eggs hatch the young is immediately independent but will stay around that areas for up to a couple months.

 

 

Works Cited

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Python_regius/

 

http://vpi.com/publications/the_ball_python_care_sheet

 

http://www.zoo.org/page.aspx?pid=1928

 

http://www.worldofballpythons.com/articles/three-common-misconceptions/

 

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Ball_python_lucy.JPG&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_regius&h=208&w=243&tbnid=tua-9omo0nBSyM:&zoom=1&tbnh=171&tbnw=199&usg=__8en5EYa4nk7rc824Weu4AW_7Hws=&docid=L10M3qu5GBiRIM&itg=1&sa=X&ei=3BdPU6a0DafO8wHZuYCoDg&ved=0CKYBEPwdMAo

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