Python: what are its main characteristics?

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Python is the name used to refer to several species of snakes in the Pythonidae family. They are snakes that do not occur naturally in Brazil, being found in the Asia and Africa. Pythons are among the largest known snakes, with the reticulated python being the largest snake species in length on the planet.

These snakes are constrictor species, meaning they wrap themselves around their prey's body and squeeze it, causing death due to the interruption of blood flow. These are animals that do not have venom.

See too: Brazilian venomous snakes

Topics in this article

  • 1 - Features of the python
  • 2 - Reticulated python
  • 3 - Do pythons have venom?

Python characteristics

Python is the name given to different species of snakes belonging to the Pythonidae family. These animals occur ins continents african and asian. In Brazil, pythons do not occur naturally, however, there are many individuals bred in captivity.

Like other snakes, pythons have elongated body full of scales. it's about animals ectothermic, that is, not able to regulate body temperature through internal mechanisms. An interesting fact about pythons is that some species can increase their body temperature through muscle contractions, a process which is normally carried out for hatching eggs.

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These animals do not have forelegs, but have traces of hindlimbs. These vestigial structures can also be observed in the Boidae family, the family of boa constrictors. Although the limbs are considered vestigial in these animals, they have a reproductive function. in mating rituals and in competition for females, these structures being more visible in males.

the pythons ifstand out for the large size that some species can reach. For example, the reticulated python is known as the longest snake on the planet, reaching 8 meters. It is worth noting that while the reticulated python wins the title of longest snake in length, the anaconda receives the title of largest snake in mass.

In addition, in terms of colors, there is a lot of variation between python species, and it is possible to observe snakes of green, orange coloring or yellow and different drawing patterns on your body.

reticulated python

Among the extant species of pythons, the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) draws attention for its large size, being recognized as a the longest snake in the world. The average length of the reticulated python is 4.78 meters, but there are records of individuals reaching more than 9 meters.

In relation to mass, on average, these animals have about 170 kg, with records of animals weighing more than 270 kg. It should also be noted that in this species the females are larger than the males.

Reticulated python curled up on a tree branch.
The reticulated python stands out as the longest snake in the world.

The reticulated python has a color ranging from light yellow to brown in its dorsal portion. It also features a repeated pattern of black X's across the back, creating a diamond-shaped pattern.

It is a native to Asia,found in areas close to water sources and predominantly inhabiting forests and swamps. these pythons are great swimmers and, according to the IUCN, have been reported even offshore, which has caused the species to colonize many islands within its range.

The species feeds on mammals and birds found in its habitat, such as bats and shrews. The reticulated python is a species of ambush predator, that is, it does not hunt its prey, but waits for its victims to pass through it, at which time it makes the attack. Although rare, there have been attacks by pythons on humans, some of them fatal.

Generally, the species is ready to play when it reaches the range of threeat five years old. In a breeding year, a female lays an average of 25 to 50 eggs, which she incubates for about 90 days.

The female remains curled up on top of the eggs, providing them with heat. She is able to increase the temperature of eggs through a process of muscle contractions. At birth, puppies are already independent. THE oldest reticulated python found in nature he had 23 years.

Read too: Komodo dragon — a species of reptile native to Indonesia

Do pythons have venom?

Pythons are snakes that have no poison and that kill your prey by constriction, as well as the boa and the anaconda. These animals bite the victim and wrap themselves around it, squeezing it in such a way as to stop blood flow, which eventually leads to cardiac arrest.

By Vanessa Sardinha dos Santos
Biology teacher
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