Snake meat, in a Taipei

Python snake length

Pythons are nonvenomous constricting in the family Boidae that are found only in the Old World. Like the, pythons retain lizard-like features such as paired lungs and the remnants of the hind limbs. Pythons are egg-laying snakes which distinguishes them from boas and sandboas which typically bear live young. Fossil of pythons are known from Cretaceous period, some 200 million years ago, the separation of the old world pythons from the South American boas having taken place some 80 million years ago.

Constricting snakes do not crush their as commonly supposed, but coil tightly around the chest of the prey . When the animal exhales, the snake tightens its grip, and after two or three breaths the animal dies from suffocation or from the pressure on its which causes it to stop beating.

Of the 24 species of pythons, 18 are found in and New Guinea, three in, and three in .

The large pythons in Australia and New Guinea include species of Liasis and Morelia which commonly exceed 10 ft (3 m) in length. The largest python in this region is the amethystine python (Morelia amethistina), which often exceeds 11 ft (3.5 m) but can grow up to 28 ft (8.5 m).

Australia also has the smallest pythons. Some species in the genus Liasis seldom exceed a yard (1 m) in length and have a slender body. The green python (Chondropython viridis) of New Guinea and northern Australia attains a length of about 7 ft (2 m), and has well-developed labial pits on the scales around the A green tree python. JLM Visuals. Reproduced by permission.

mouth which serve as heat receptors, allowing the snake to locate warm-blooded and at night.

The largest known python is the Asian reticulated python (Python reticulatus) which has been reported to attain a length of 38 ft (11.6 m), and commonly reaches more than 25 ft (7.6 m). Reticulated pythons are longest of all snakes, while the anaconda (an aquatic boa of tropical America) is probably the heaviest.

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