Burmese python

Burmese pythons can be found throughout southern and south east Asia.

They’re excellent swimmers. Still fancy a dip?

Burmese pythons will actively seek a home near a permanent source of water and as such are considered semi-aquatic.

Early life for a Burmese python is spent mostly in trees. As they get older (and bigger), they head down to the ground.

A large number of Burmese pythons can also be found in the Florida everglades. It’s thought they found their way there after the devastation of hurricane Andrew in 1992. At the time, this was the most destructive hurricane in US history and destroyed snake breeding facilities. Snakes also escaped from zoos and homes in the area.

You can tell a python from its appearance – they have dark brown patches and two lines that run horizontally across the head.

Conservation

They are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list due to the demand for their skins and meat. Loss of habitat is considered a contributing factor towards the drop in numbers. They are also popular in the pet trade because of their calm nature compared to other species of snake.

Burmese python questions and answers

How big can they grow?
An average length for a fully grown Burmese python is 12 feet…but they have been known to grow as long as 23 feet.

How long do they live for?
The usual lifespan is around 20 years, although the oldest living python was recorded at 28 years old.

If they’re not venomous then how do they kill their prey?
They do it by suffocating their victim. They coil themselves around prey then constrict their muscles, squeezing whatever they have within their grasp until it cannot breathe.

What do they eat?
Their diet consists of a variety of birds and mammals. They will tackle anything from rats to alligators!

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