From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Python (disambiguation).
Missing image

Python regius
Scientific classification

Python anchietae
Python breitensteini
Python brongersmai
Python molurus
Python regius
Python reticulatus
Python sebae
Python timoriensis

Python is the common name for the Boidae Family of nonvenomous constricting snakes—specifically the subfamily Pythonidae. It is also the scientific name for a specific genus of snakes of the family Pythonidae. Pythons live in India, the East Indies, Africa, and Australia.

Generally pythons range in size from 4.5 to 6 metres (15 to 20 feet) in length. They are among the longest species of snake in the world; the Reticulated Python can reach lengths of up to 10 metres (35 feet) and is the longest.

Pythons are constrictors, and feed on birds and small mammals, killing them by literally squeezing them to death. They coil themselves up around their prey, tighten, but merely squeeze hard enough to stop the prey's breathing and/or blood circulation. Large pythons usually would eat something about the size of a house cat, but 100 pound (45 kg) wild boar are eaten as well. They swallow their prey whole, and take several days to fully digest it. Despite their intimidating size and muscular power, they are generally not dangerous to humans. While a large adult python could kill a human being (most likely by strangling rather than actual crushing), humans are outside the normal size range for prey. Reports of python attacks on humans are extremely rare. Despite this, pythons have been aggressively hunted, driving some species (like the Indian Python) to the brink of extinction.

Pythons live in the dense underbrush of rugged tropical rainforest regions. They are excellent climbers; some species, like the Green Tree Python, are arboreal. Like all snakes, they are also capable swimmers. Their natural range is Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and nearby islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Pythons hatch from eggs, like most snakes. Depending on the snake, the number of eggs in the nest varies greatly, from several eggs to over one-hundred. While very unusual for snakes, the Indian python incubates her eggs by shivering, thereby raising their temperature to help them hatch quicker.

Some species exhibit vestigial bones of the pelvis and rear legs, which are externally apparent in the form of a pair of anal spurs on each side of the cloaca. These spurs are larger in males than females, and are used by the male to stimulate the female during copulation.


See also


fr:Python nl:Python (slang) ja:Python pt:Python zh:Python


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