November 2015′s Animal Of The Month – Ball Pythons

By November 30, 2015 No Comments

November is just about over and so is our time with the ball python as our Animal Of The Month. We hope you enjoyed our tweets @ExoticPetVets about these gentle snakes.  If you happened to miss any during the month, here is a summary. Did you know?:

  • Ball pythons (Python regius) are also known as royal ball pythons.
  • The “regius” part of the ball python’s scientific name means “royal” in Latin.
  • It has been suggested some African leaders would wear ball pythons as jewellery; hence the name royal ball python.
  • They’re known as ball pythons because they curl up into a tight ball when they feel threatened.
  • Ball pythons are found in the wild in sub-Saharan western and central Africa.
  • The ball python is one of three python species found in Africa and is the smallest of the three.
  • In the wild, ball pythons live in savannahs and grasslands.
  • The ball python’s black and tan patterned colouring provides an effective camouflage out in the wild.
  • Ball pythons have a stripe on each side of their eyes, which helps hide the outline of their heads from predators.
  • Ball pythons are nocturnal and spend much of their time in burrows underground.
  • Small mammals make up the ball python’s diet in the wild.
  • Wild ball pythons eat shrews, striped mice and African soft-furred rats – all mammals with dark or dark patterned fur.
  • Ball pythons in captivity often don’t recognize all white mice or rats as prey and should be offered darker small mammals.
  • Ball pythons are notoriously picky eaters and prone to anorexia, especially during their breeding season in the winter.
  • Many ball pythons will avoid eating when they’re getting ready to shed their skin, if they’re stressed or have parasites.
  • Ball pythons are among the most popular pet snakes in part because of their docile nature.
  • Ball pythons are known for being quite shy and those in captivity need at least one hiding place in their enclosures.
  • Adult female ball pythons grow to be much bigger than their male counterparts.
  • Female ball pythons typically grow to be an average of 3 – 5 feet (approx. 1 – 1.5 metres) as adults.
  • Male ball pythons reach an average of 2 – 3 feet (approx. .5 – 1 metres) in adulthood.
  • Ball pythons are considered to be attractive snakes as they have beautiful patterned skin and small scales.
  • Selective breeding by the reptile industry has created many different colour and pattern varieties known as morphs.
  • Because of their skin patterns and small scales, ball pythons are killed and their skin is used to make fashion items.
Lifelearn Admin

Lifelearn Admin

S. Fontana is a LifeLearn author.

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