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Largest Snake In The World

What is the Largest Snake in the World?

The largest snake in the world is the Reticulated Python. They live throughout Southeast Asia in tropical rainforests. The snake needs to live near water where there are temperatures of 80-92 degrees every day. The largest Reticulated Python ever recorded was almost 33 feet long and weighed close to 350 pounds. Some people think the Anaconda, which is in the Boa family is the largest snake in the world. That snake is not as long but thought to be stouter. The largest snake in the world recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records is the Reticulated Python.

The Reticulated Python gets its name from its own complex geometric pattern of diamond shapes, which are in a “netlike” pattern. The head is unmarked, helping in identification of the snake. Females are larger than males. The largest Reticulated Python ever in captivity was a female weighing 320 pounds with a length of 28.5 feet, who lived at the Pittsburgh Zoo. This python often lives to be 25 years old in captivity.

Reticulated Pythons hunt primarily by waiting in ambush for their prey, most often in trees. They usually feed on mammals and birds, but have been known to eat pigs, dogs, deer and even a human being. As babies, these snakes feed on rats but by the time they are ten feet long, they are eating wild pigs, mouse deer, monkeys and porcupines. Adult species have over one hundred teeth with which to hold their prey while constricting. Because they are cold-blooded, Reticulated Pythons have a very low metabolic rate and can go for long periods of time without eating. One in captivity once went twenty-three months without a meal.

It takes the largest snake in the world from two to four years to reach sexual maturity. They breed between September and March. Both the male and female fast through breeding time with the female fasting until after eggs are laid and hatched. Females lay anywhere between 25 and 80 eggs which the mother keeps between 88 and 90 degrees for three months. Eggs are very large--four to five inches and the female shivers to produce muscle contractions which in turn, warm the eggs. Females are very defensive of their eggs during this time, but once the eggs have hatched the young ones are on their own.

Reticulated Pythons are considered to be aggressive snakes. In part, this may be attributed to their aggressive method of feeding or because wild snakes have a hard time adjusting to captivity and tend to be aggressive. Ones that have been born in captivity and handled from birth give no indications of aggressiveness.

The Reticulated Python is not an endangered species but every year these pythons are killed for skins and Asian blood rituals. Some black marketers even try to capture them and sell them as pets.




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