Saturday, December 1, 2012

African Rock Python

Python sebae
The African Rock Python is the longest snake on the African continent, and is one of the longest snake species on the planet, measuring up to 20ft. They live throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, in two different location-based sub-species. They live in a wide range of habitats, from forests to open scrublands.

African Rock Pythons kill their prey through constriction-- wrapping their bodies around an animal and squeezing it until it dies (usually from cardiac arrest or suffocation). Because of their flexible jaws they can kill and consume animals whole that are very large, including Antelopes, Warthogs, Crocodiles, and Monkeys. These snakes are capable of killing and consuming adult humans, but these attacks are incredibly, incredibly rare.

The strong coils of this snake aren't just used to kill-- mothers actually wrap around their eggs to protect them from predators. They are one of the egg-laying snake species, and deposit up to 100 hard shelled eggs at a time. It can take as long as 90 days for the eggs to hatch.

In the past few years African Rock Pythons have become an invasive species in Florida. They are a common, captive kept snake, and these invasive populations comes from escapes and releases.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 20ft (6m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Pythonidae -- Genus : Python -- Species : P. sebae

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