Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Burmese Python

The largest subspecies of Indian Python, the Burmese Python has been the popular choice for reptile keepers due to its beautiful skin pattern. Here are some interesting facts about this animal which also claims to be one of the sixth largest python in the world…

Among the subspecies of the Indian Python, the Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) is the largest, and is native throughout Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and southern China. The attractiveness of their skin pattern, that is, this light colored snake has many dark brown blotches bordered in black down the back adds to its popularity among reptile keepers as well as the leather industry.

Its color pattern is more or so similar to African Rock Python (Python sebae), but not in actual, sometimes results confusion of the two species outside their natural habitats. The snake may grow up to 25 feet and weight up to 400 pounds. This python can be seen in swamps, marshes, rocky foothills, grasslands, woodlands, jungles, and river valleys without much endeavor.

Burmese Python are good swimmer and excellent climbers and have prehensile tails. In younger stage they are equally comfortable in the trees as well as on the ground. They posses capacity to keep themselves submerged inside the water for up to half an hour. But, at later stage they prefer staying on the ground, may be due to increased weight.

These diurnal rainforest dwellers mostly spend there morning hours soaking up the sun’s warmth to moderate their body temperature, and also helping their meal to digest. But at night look around for their prey. In forests these snakes do not feed themselves everyday, once devoured they rest for days or week. During cold season they go into hibernation for few months in a hole in the riverbank, in a hollow tree or under rocks.

Variations in Python
Due to color, pattern and size Burmese Python is very popular among pet keepers. It has wide variety; the albino form is most widely available morph and utmost popular. They are found white with patterns and burnt orange and butterscotch yellow. Mazelike patterned python comes under "Labyrinth" specimens, "Granite" and "Green" Burmese pythons have many small angular spots.

Breeders have recently found "Dwarf", which has an island lineage with Burmese Pythons, has slightly different coloration and pattern in comparison to mainland relatives. Other to it, their growth is not much over 7 feet (2.1 meters) long. Most sought among these variations is the leucistic Burmese due to its rarity. This snake has no pattern and is entirely bright white with black eyes

Burmese Pythons are carnivorous, like all other snakes. There diet include variety of prey in the wild like - lizards, amphibians other snakes, mammals and birds. Because vermin and rats are as a food source, they are often seen near human habitations. However, these domesticated mammals and birds can also be used as a pest for them.

The snake by its sharp backward pointed teeth seizes its prey, and then the prey is wrapped by his body and simultaneously contracts its muscles, thus killing the prey through asphyxiation. During captivity they mainly diet on rabbits, rats and poultry. But, some large python needs goats or pigs to fulfill their larger food demands.

In early spring season Burmese Python breeds, that is, March or April. Females lay eggs around 12-36 in a set. After encircling the eggs, female remains with them until they are hatched. They do not leave the eggs or even eat during this period. The female’s muscles twitch during incubation and thus the ambient temperature rises to several degrees around the eggs. The hatchling starts living their own as they cut their way out of the egg. In recent years captive breeding has intensified, making the importation of wild caught specimens for the pet trade uncommon.

Docile Pet
Due to its easy-going nature and attractive color Burmese Pythons are often sold as pets. Another cause of keeping it as a pet is its allurement for folk medicines which is extracted from its gall and blood as well as supply for the international fashion industries with exotic skins. All these are putting additional pressures on the wild populations.

If a person decides to keep this snake, he should be careful about the enclosure. It should have most natural surroundings, this aid in the general condition of the snake as well as is more aesthetically pleasing. If the surrounding is liked by the snake it will show better feeding response and grow faster. Natural products used in vivarium enhance the quality of life in the snake and prevents it of becoming overweight and lethargic.

Other to it, stronger snakes develops better resistance power against any viral infections. A vivarium of 3m Length x 1m Width x 1.5m Height is ample for an adult python. Aquariums can be used for juvenile Burmese Pythons, but specialist lid (cork bark) should be used instead of original aquarium lid. These snakes are generally not worried about the size of their enclosure, but enjoys if better condition is available.

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