Are you a lover of snakes or just curious about them? Then, this is a must-read post. Today, we focus on the African rock python. It is among the largest snakes in the world. Unlike other endangered animals such as rhinos, they are safer. But compared to earlier times, they are not widespread. This is because they are hunted for meat and skin. In most areas, they are placed in protected areas. Most people fear this reptile. This is because they can attack and swallow humans. But this is a rare incident. The truth is that pythons are attractive creatures. They only attack when cornered. Let’s look at 5 fascinating facts about the African rock python. You will discover that they are amazing creatures that you need to see on an African safari.
5 Fascinating Facts About the African Rock Python
- African rock python behavior
They are non-venomous. This is one of 5 fascinating facts about the African rock python. All pythons are non-venomous. This means that they don’t have venom. This is a liquid from glands and fangs used to kill prey. But they have teeth just like venomous snakes. So, one should be careful with their bite. They may cause infections just as small injuries do. Some of their bites require urgent medical care.
So, how does the African rock python hunt? It constricts its prey. This is not like breaking bones. It does 3 things. First, it ambushes its prey. Second, it coils around the prey. Third, it tightens its coil every time the prey breathes. The prey does not die by crushing. Instead, it dies after being unable to breathe.
The African rock python applies so much power when squeezing the prey. It leaves no room for the heart to continue beating. This is one of the fascinating African rock python behaviors. Death may occur in less than a minute because of heart failure.
- African rock python size
It is one of the largest snakes in the world. Other largest species include the Indian python, green anaconda, and Burmese python among others. It is the largest snake in Africa.
Let’s look at the African rock python size. An adult is about 10 to 13 feet. But longer ones have been recorded. A 20-feet long python has been recorded. This may be the biggest African rock python.
-Male African rock python size
African rock python is bulky and enormous. It can weigh about 130 kg. Females are larger. This is especially common in areas with lesser populations. They are large and stout-bodied animals.
- African rock python lifespan
It has a longer lifespan. This is among the 5 fascinating facts about the African rock python. These attractive animals breed in the spring. They lay about 20 to 100 eggs. The eggs are elongated and their shells are hard. They lay these eggs in a cave, termite mound, or animal burrow. Females coil around the eggs to protect them. They do this until the eggs hatch. This takes about 90 days. Babies are born at a more developed stage. They are about 45 cm in length at birth. They are identical to adults. At 3 years, most babies are mature and can hunt. From here, they enjoy a longer lifespan. They can live between 20 to 30 years. The oldest in the records died at the age of 27 years.
- African rock python habitat
Let’s learn about the African rock python habitat. They live in many habitats. This is among the 5 fascinating facts about the African rock python. They live in grassland, rocky regions, forest, and semi-deserts. Mostly, they are found in areas with permanent water bodies. These are areas with rivers, swamps, and lakes. The northern African rock python is found in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Senegal. The southern African rock python is found along southern Kenya to South Africa.
They live in areas where they can easily access food. They eat various animals. These include crocodiles, rodents, antelopes, and monkeys among other animals. They have been seen eating cubs of lions and leopards. Those that live around human habitat eat goats, rats, and poultry.
After killing prey, they swallow it. If the prey is big, the python can stay a year without eating. It can swallow 60 kg of prey. They can swallow prey that is bigger than them. In the stomach, they have acids that help in digestion.
- Defensive behavior
When threatened, African rock pythons are very aggressive. They become extremely defensive. To avoid threats, they stay well hidden. Given a chance, they flee from a threat. Things change when they are cornered. They produce a hissing sound to warn the predator. They only strike as a last resort. Even a young python can quickly strike. Their bite can be painful. They may also result in constricting the attacker. It is important to avoid them for safety.
In this post, we have listed 5 fascinating facts about the African rock python. These amazing creatures are non-venomous. They are the largest snakes in Africa. They enjoy a longer lifespan. They are extremely defensive when cornered. You can witness some of these facts on a safari. For example, you can see an African rock python in the Nairobi National Museum, Kenya. Do you need more info about pythons? Feel free to reach out.