Burmese Pythons Stalk Asia, and Florida!
by Zale Thoronka, age 12
Burmese pythons are truly a fascinating and interesting species. Their eating habits and the incredible size of these snakes are remarkable. These are some of the wonders of the Burmese python.
Did you know that the Burmese python can stretch its jaw to consume prey five times the size of its head? This reptile is one of the world’s largest snakes and is capable of eating an alligator.
The Burmese python is a species that is native to the jungles and grassy marshes of Southeast Asia. It can also be found in the Florida Everglades, where it has been categorized as an invasive species, with tens of thousands of snakes living there by estimates from the National Park Service. These snakes live for 20-25 years, weigh up to 200 pounds (90kg), and reach a length of 16-23 feet.
Burmese pythons have a straightforward diet consisting of small mammals and birds, although larger pythons hunt for prey such as goats, pigs, and other large animals. Due to their poor eyesight, these snakes hunt and locate their prey through the chemical receptors in their tongues and the heat sensors in their jaws.
The Burmese python is a reclusive species and isn't generally seen in pairs unless mating has begun, which starts in spring. A female Burmese python can lay up to 100 eggs per clutch. It keeps the eggs warm by contracting or shivering her muscles, and they will remain incubated for around two to three months. When baby pythons hatch, they will stay in the egg until their first skin has shed and then hunt for their first meal.
[Source: National Geographic]