Ball Python Facts

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Ball pythons are a small species and the adults can live to about 20 years. Discover facts about ball pythons with information from a published biologist in this free video on snake identification and reptiles.

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Video Transcript

Here, we have a ball python. Its scientific name is python regius. They are native to grasslands and savannas of central and southern Africa. It is a small species and adults can live to about twenty years and they can grow three to four feet long. However in captivity they can live slightly longer and can grow an additional two feet. You can tell that this snake is going through a molting phase, which means he's shedding his skin, because his color is less iridescent and you can see that his eye lens looks a little bit like aluminum foil. Usually you can tell when your snake is about to molt, because the color change and your snake will maybe not want to eat as often, and they will often become slightly more aggressive, because the lens cap is disrupted and they can't see as well. Mating wise, these snakes are oviparous meaning they lay clutches of eggs, four to six eggs is common, with a ninety day incubation period. This snake is a constrictor, meaning it suffocates its prey by coiling its tail and its body and constricting their pray. You can tell - it's got a key characteristic from the fact that it is very heavy bodied and it has strong musculature. This snake finds its prey which is generally small rodents by using these labial heat pits, found on its upper jaw. It also uses its Jacobson organ, which is found on the inside of its upper jaw, and its tongue to pass odors, particulars over for identification. An interesting defense mechanism that this snake possesses, is when it becomes frightened or threatened it can coil its body into a tight, tight ball and it will hide its head in the ball so predators cannot reach it. Pet owners often think it's funny to roll their python across their floor, giving them their name the Ball Python.

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