August 1st, 2008

Boelen's Python



"Scientific Name: Morelia boeleni
Geographical Range: Africa New Guinea, Australia
Habitat: Rain forest, grasslands and savannas, woodlands, and swamps
Diet in the Wild: rodents, birds, lizards, monkeys, pigs, or antelope

Physical Description: A non-venomous snake that is on average 6-8 feet in length, the coloration of this species is striking. The upper part of the snake is a shiny black with a purple-blue iridescence. It has white, diagonal markings on the lower part of its body which cover the first third of the snake, white "bars" on its lips. Endemic to New Guinea (it's found only there). It seems to favor humidity and low light - almost nothing is known of its activities in the wild."

And, while not specific to this species, it is interesting...

"Reproductive Behavior: Unlike their close relatives the boas, pythons lay eggs. ... But what's really remarkable is that most python mothers stay coiled around their eggs to protect them while they develop, and if the temperature gets too cold, the mothers of larger species warm their eggs up by "shivering". This involves rhythmic contractions of the muscles and is described as looking like the snake has the hiccups. Even though snakes are ectodermic, the mother python can, amazingly, raise the temperature of her eggs up a few degrees by doing this. It takes a lot of energy, though, so she may not reproduce again for two to three years as she gains back the weight she lost. After the eggs hatch, she leaves and the babies are on their own."

Information shamelessly ganked from this page. Here is a link to a group dedicated to researching and preserving them in captivity.

Edit: hurrrr i can does HTML real good