Some people keep the Burmese python and other python snakes as pets even though they often reach a length of 15-20 feet (5-6½ meters) and weighs up to two hundred pounds (100 kg). Such large animals are quite expensive to keep as they demand a lot of space.
Some python owners dumb their pythons into the wilderness when the python grows to large. In a state like Florida this had led to the concern that pythons are taking over the top of the food chain from alligators. There%s even reported cases of 4-5 meter pythons eating alligators of up to 6 feet.
If kept at minimal area they will try to escape and because of their strength they will often succeed in escaping. Python snakes in general are not venomous they are however so-called constrictors as they kill their prey by asphyxiation.
In some cases even longer species are seen. It has some small teeth but no fangs. Near their cloacal opening two claws can be found. This might sound strange but one most remember its ancient ancestors – the lizards.
The natural habitat of Burmese Pythons
Its natural habitat is grassland or scrubland and what can be called «open jungle». Its natural range is Burma, of course, India, Thailand and Malaysia. It may live close to human settlements as this offers opportunities for more prey. The Burmese Python is a threatened species.
How pythons handle their prey
The Burmese Python and other pythons are non-venomous. They kill their prey by choking or by suffocation by hindering their prey from breathing air. In a matter of minutes the prey will be fainted or dead from lack of oxygen.
The favorite prey of the python is rodents and all other kind of small mammals. It eats prey with varying size and it sometimes takes very large prey. A sad story is the killing of a 15 year old boy in Colorado by a python. The family had pythons as pets and left their son at home while going for a ride. When they came home the python had killed their son. The python was only 8 feet long which gives an impression of the snake%s strength. You can read the full story here. At the same site you can find other dreadful stories. When they eat very large meals such as goats, sheep etc. their maximum metabolic rate is not reached immediately but up to 2 days after the consumption1, which is quite remarkably.
Females should be around 10 feet (3 meters) before they are ready to breed. Males, which are generally smaller, only need to be 8 feet long before they are ready to mate. In captivity it is well known that keeping the female in a cold place will trigger her ovulation. The mating lasts for several hours. Two too three months after mating the female will usually lay from 15 to 25 eggs. She will coil around her eggs and shiver to keep the eggs warm. The eggs hatches in about two months and gives birth to young pythons.
They can become very old; especially when kept in captivity. Burmese Pythons aged more than 20 years is not unusual in Zoos.
1Secor S.M., Diamond J.,Determinants of the postfeeding metabolic response of Burmese pythons, Python molurus Physiological Zoology 70(2), page 202-212 (1997)