Ball Python

Python regius

Length: 3 to 5 feet
Diet: small mammals and birds
Number of Eggs: about 100
Home: tropical West Africa

The ball python is a constrictor. This means that it wraps itself around its prey and strangles it. It holds its prey tightly with its pointed teeth that tilt backward. Then it opens its mouth wide and easily swallows its prey, usually a small mammal or a bird.

The ball python has a highly developed sense of smell, which it uses when hunting. It has a heat-sensitive organ between its eyes and nostrils that can detect even tiny changes in the air temperature. Animals give off body heat, so a rise in air temperature may indicate that an animal is near.

The ball python is more or less peaceful. It never attacks humans and poses no danger to them. So what does it so when it feels threatened and cannot escape? It rolls itself into a ball with its head in the middle.

The ball python lives in the wet forests and scrublands of West Africa. It often stretches out on a branch. It is a land animal. But it is also a good swimmer. Like boa constrictors, ball pythons have remnants of hind legs in the shape of two small spurs. The female ball python lays about 100 eggs and stays with them, unlike most reptiles. She curls herself around the eggs and lays her head on top of them. Although all snakes are cold-blooded, her body is slightly warmer than the air. During this time she eats very little and leaves the eggs only to drink. She remains in this position until the little pythons hatch two to three months later.

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SOURCE: Amazing Animals of the World

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