Burmese pythons are arguably one of the more iconic species of snakes. They’re popular pets, are often ambassador animals for zoos and wildlife centers, and are famously invasive in the Florida Everglades. Not to mention, Burmese Pythons are huge and are one of the top 5 largest snakes. There are a lot of interesting facts about Burmese Pythons, so in this article we will answer some of the more common questions people have about these beautiful snakes.
20 interesting facts about Burmese Pythons
1. How big do Burmese Pythons get?
On average, adult Burmese Pythons do not tend to grow much longer than 16 feet long, however there have been some captive Burmese Pythons growing closer to 19 feet long. Female Burmese Pythons grow much heavier than male Burmese Pythons and can get as heavy as 200+ pounds!
2. Where do Burmese Pythons live?
Their native range is throughout Southeast Asia where they can be found in small areas in India, Nepal, Myanamar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Southern China and parts of Indonesia. One of the more interesting facts about Burmese Pythons is that they are also an invasive species in the Florida Everglades.
3. What habitats do Burmese Pythons live in?
Burmese Pythons live in many different habitat types. They can be found in forests, wetlands, coastal plains, and even in villages in suburban areas.
4. How did Burmese Pythons get to Florida?
Burmese Pythons have been being spotted in the Florida Everglades as early as the 1980’s. They are thought to be from pet owners intentionally or accidentally releasing them and then they were able to form self-sustaining breeding populations. The damage of a large breeding facility for Burmese Pythons during a hurricane is thought to have supplemented the population.
5. What do Burmese Pythons eat?
Burmese Pythons are not picky eaters which makes them dietary generalists. Burmese Pythons eat mammals and birds of all different sizes, depending on the size of the Burmese Python of course.
6. How often do Burmese Pythons eat?
In the wild, Burmese Pythons may go anywhere between 2-4 months without eating. How long Burmese Pythons spend between meals before hunting again really depends on the size of the meal and the time of year. Burmese Pythons are less active during cooler months and therefore use less energy.
7. How do Burmese Pythons hunt?
Burmese Pythons are ambush predators, meaning they will sit and wait for a meal to come to them. Burmese Pythons have thermal pits, which essentially gives them “heat vision” and makes it easier for them to detect their warm-blooded prey.
8. How do Burmese Pythons catch their prey?
Using their thermal pits, once a Burmese Python senses that their prey is near, they will coil up and then spring forward in a strike. They grab their prey with their jaws and then quickly wrap their body or constrict around their prey.
9. How tightly can a Burmese Python constrict?
Burmese Pythons can squeeze their prey incredibly tight! Scientists tested the pressure applied by Burmese Pythons and found that they can apply around 6 pounds of pressure per square inch. This constriction forces a heart attack in their prey, killing them quickly.
10. Do Burmese Pythons eat humans?
There are no known accounts of Burmese Pythons eating humans, however there have been several people that have been killed by their pet Burmese Pythons. These events are very rare, but pet owners should take precautions when owning a large constrictor.
11. How long do Burmese Pythons live?
It is not known how long Burmese Pythons live in the wild, but in captivity Burmese Pythons live 15-30 years!
12. Are Burmese Pythons endangered?
The IUCN Redlist puts Burmese Pythons as “Threatened”, meaning they are not endangered, yet. Native Burmese Python populations are decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching.
13. How many eggs do Burmese Pythons lay?
Burmese Pythons can lay a lot of eggs! The biggest clutch size recorded was over 100 eggs, but on average, clutch sizes are between 30-40 eggs.
14. Do Burmese Python mothers care for their young?
Burmese Pythons are unique in the snake world as mothers will protect the nest throughout the entirety of the incubation period. Once a Burmese Python has laid her eggs, she will coil around her eggs and stay there to ward off predators until they hatch.
15. How long does it take for Burmese Python eggs to hatch?
It takes close to 2 months for eggs to hatch, meaning the mother has to stay put for those 2 months! Talk about a dedicated mother!
16. Do Burmese Pythons lay eggs every year?
We don’t know much about how often Burmese Pythons lay eggs, but it is thought that Burmese Pythons do not lay eggs every year. Instead they may lay eggs once every other year or every two years.
17. How big are baby Burmese Pythons?
Baby Burmese Pythons come out of the egg between 20-24 inches, which is pretty big for a baby snake! At this size, they are already able to hunt small mammals like rodents.
18. Does the Burmese Python have any predators?
When Burmese Pythons are smaller, they may be eaten by birds of prey, mesocarnivores like mongooses and hog-badgers and other snakes. Once they reach maturity though, few animals can take down Burmese Pythons, except for the King Cobra.
19. Do Burmese Pythons need to mate to reproduce?
Burmese Pythons are one of the few species of snakes to be able to reproduce through parthenogenesis. Basically, Burmese Pythons do not need to mate with males to lay eggs. Instead, they are able to lay eggs that have the exact same genetic makeup of the mothers. That being said, this is rare and has only been seen in captivity.
20. Are there albino Burmese Pythons in the wild?
Last up on this list of facts about Burmese Pythons is in regards to albinism. Many people have albino Burmese pythons as pets, but these animals are not commonly found in the wild. Albinism is a genetic mutation and rarely occurs in wild populations. Albino Burmese pythons stick out like a sore thumb in the wild and are quickly picked off by predators.