nonvenomous snake

Burmese python
Python molurus bivittatus

Though plentiful in captivity in the wild these animals are considered vulnerable due to recent human invasion & hunting efforts.

A gigantic snake and one of the true apex predators in the world . The Burmese Python. Native to South East Asian such as Thailand,Cambodia,Vietnam,India. Though recently they have become an invasive species in Florida.

Capable of growing to gigantic sizes such as record hitting 5 metres.  These snakes are distinguished by their many blotches in black & brown running down their body, however in captivity they have been bred to many more different morphs such as  burnt orange,butterscotch yellow, white, green  to name a few. 

These giants are nonvenomous snakes but are in no means “friendly” or “safe” animals. Killing their prey through constricting by wrapping their huge, heavy & muscular bodies around and crushing them underneath before consumption. Normally hunting at night allows them the advantage of ambush predator, hiding in the undergrowth or at waters edge ready to strike at a moments notice.  Like most snakes they are solitary animals except when it comes to breeding season in the early spring  around March & April. Unlike most Mother snakes that lay the eggs and be on their way, these are one of the few protective Mothers who remain with the eggs until they hatch ,wrapping her body aroud the eggs and using her body as a way temperature gauge.

Pythons have a
Tube like body which fits all their vital organs inside! To do this the organs overlap each other and take up a significant part of the snakes length of body.

Snakes generally move using S shaped to propel themselves around,  anchoring & pushing the body forward to perform the slither . The reason they can do this is because their scales are attached have a set of muscles attached to ribs . They run diagonally across each other, to the scales and when the snake moves lifts the scales to move forward. Basically means when one muscle moves forward, the opposite one contracts to push the the body forward.

These scales overlap each other and has skin  that is just underneath the scales which allows for greater flexibility for activities such as moving around on land, swimming & stretching it’s belly to eat. This particularly helps for their jaws which is separate unlike ours and they have the ability to move them independently. Not only that but unlike ours they have another bone also on the lower jaw increasing their flexibility of opening their jaw even further. Having two rows of teeth, the  inside row of teeth does the “walking” for the mouth to swallow the animal’s  . Which leads to the next point that these giants actually have a scuba like organ that pops out when they are consuming a meal allowing them to continually breathe.

All snakes use their forked tongue to communicate with the world by picking up chemicals of their surrounding . This is increased by the ability of the tongue being forked and each end is independent of each other and can move speratley allowing the snake to see where the stronger chemical reading is, thus navigating to that side.

These giants can generally consume any animal it can overpower . This leads to cases where they consume even large crocodiles & alligators which are frequent over in Florida. Generally their diet consists of birds & mammals though.

Not for the novice owner due o their rapid growth and sheer adult size however despite this , they have become increasingly common overtime when in the care of experienced herpetologists. They however are not easy to manage once you get past the electrical bill, the feeding ect, what becomes the problem is the handling as nearly fully grown , no one man can handle even the most docile snake that is quite capable of turning . There are enough reported incidents to give fair warning of this.







Documentary : Inside Nature’s Giants , Python

California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata)

The California mountain kingsnake is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake, which is endemic to North America. It is a coral snake mimic, having a similar pattern consisting of red, black, and yellow on its body, but the snake is completely harmless.

photo credits: Dawn Ellner

Found this beautiful baby in our backyard, just about to shed! (well, he’s about three feet, so not exactly a baby anymore XD) He seems to have taken up residence here, and he and his adorable tongue and his rat-eating skills are more than welcome. (Photo courtesy of my mother, who waited around outside of his home for quite a while to get this shot)

My family calls these guys Texas Racers, though for all I know that could be totally off base. Any ideas?