Tuesday, October 2, 2007

morelia spilota

The Diamond Python is a non-venomous snake. It is typically black above with cream or yellow spots on many of the individual scales, forming a series of diamond shaped patterns. The under surface is usually cream or yellow. On average, the Diamond Python will grow to 1.8 m. Some specimens up to 2.8 m have been documented.

Diamond Pythons often take up residence in the roof spaces of private houses. Many people are not keen on having such lodgers, however, the snakes carry out a very beneficial task by eliminating any unwanted rodent pests. Once the food supply has been exhausted, the snakes will move on.

Pythons are constrictors, coiling around their prey and squeezing it until it suffocates. Like most other snakes they can swallow animals much larger than the diameter of their own heads. This is because the bones of the skull and the lower jaw are loosely attached to each other by ligaments which allow the bones to separate when the prey is being swallowed. Their skin also expands and large prey items form an obvious lump in the body until digested. Hatchling Diamond Pythons feed almost solely on small lizards. As adults, this reptile feeds mainly on birds and other vertebrates such as rats, mice, possums and bandicoots.

Like all pythons, the Diamond Python lays eggs (oviparous) and the female python coils around the clutch to incubate and protect them. A clutch of between 10 and 20 eggs is usually laid. When hatched the young measure 25 - 40 cm.

This one has been hanging around our house for over 12 months.

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