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Ball python

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Ball python
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Python regius

Ball pythons are usually found in the western area of central Africa in the savanna and sparsely wooded grasslands.[1] Pythons are also known as royal pythons in Europe. They can grow up to 4ft in length. They are usually active at night, so they are considered nocturnal. Ball pythons get their name from their defensive position. When it coils up in to a light ball and hides its head in its coils. They are comfortable on both the ground and in the trees. They are active around dawn and dusk.[2]

Contents

Anatomy

a ball python sun bathing.

Ball pythons grow up to 4ft. long. They are dark brown, black, and light brown. They aren't very long but they are somewhat fat. They have small black eyes. The ball pythons are all very different from each other. They all have different personalities and there are over 23 different types of ball pythons.[3]

Reproduction

two ball pythons mating.

Ball python females have been known to mature enough to reproduce at the age of 3, but males can be mature enough at the age of 1. When a ball python reproduces the male wraps itself around the female (which is typically longer then the male). In the picture you see the male releasing its sperm into the female to fertilize the eggs. The female have up to 4 to 10 eggs. She coils around them and stays with them for three months so she can incubate them.[4]

Ecology

a ball python showing off his good grip.

The ball python lives in western and west central Africa, in the savanna and sparsely wooded grasslands.[5] Their diet consists of a variety of things like small mammals, birds, amphibians, and lizards. That is what they eat in the wild, in captivity their diet consist of mice and rats (they will eat small rats). When a ball python is threatened it coils in to a light ball to protect its head (if it were to coil in to a tight ball in would crush its head). Ball pythons need allot of heat and humidity.[6]

Pet care

a ball python as a pet!
a ball python as a pet!

Picking out your snake

When you are picking out your ball python you want to pick one that has clear firm skin, round body shape, clear eyes, and who flicks its tongue around when handled. Pythons are naturally shy and aren’t used to having strangers holding them so in reaction they might pull their head sharply away from you. [7]

Getting a cage

When you get a cage for your ball python you are going to want it to be escape proof. Ball pythons are especially powerful and cunning when it comes to breaking out they can push off the top of the cage and get out they are somewhat slow but if the escapists go unnoticed then finding them will be very difficult. [8]

What to put in the cage

To start your cage you want to put down a good substrate (a substrate is a layer of shavings that cover the ground so the snake doesn’t have to slither on uncomfortable glass bottom.) Some good substrates are cypress or fir bark. You are also going to want to put in a hallowed out rock or a small hiding place for your snake. You may also want to put in some cool decorations like plants or branches for them to crawl on. [9]

Cage temp

Ball pythons live in very hot and humid places. So you are going to want your cage to be hot and humid or your snake will die. You can check the humidity of the cage with an interment called a hygrometer. The humidity should be 50%, but when your snake is shedding the humidity should in cress and go up to around 60-65%. [10]

Feeding

When you are feeding your snake you will want to move him to a different place like a different cage or a big tuber where box so your snake doesn’t think your hand is food when you reach in to pick it up. The snake will soon associate the other cage with food and you wont have to worry about the snake thinking your hand is food. [11]

Water

You need to give a water bowl for your snake so he cannot only drink out of it but he/she can soak in it. Some snakes soak before they shed and that is a good thing. It makes the shed easier for the snake. You should change the water as often as you can so your snake doesn’t get sick. [12]

Your snake and handling

After you get your snake you should give it a couple days to relax and settle in. When you do start to handle it you need to handle it gently and be careful because it may threaten you by hissing at you or try to get away from you. [13]

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Related References

  • [14]Ball Pythons
  • [15]Meet the Ball Python
  • [16]ball python
  • [17]Royal Python (Ball Python)

(Python regius)

  • [18] ball python breeders

See Also

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