The African Rock Python (Python Sebae) is Africa’s largest snake, it has a long, stout body, patterned with blotches that may vary in color between olive, brown, chestnut and buffy yellowish, often joining up in a broad, irregular stripe.
The name Python Sebae derives from the Greek mythology and refers to a enormous serpent. And it lives to the anticipation as it is one of the largest snakes in the world.
They will have a triangular-shaped head that has numerous sharp, backward-curved teeth with a mark on top having a dark brown “spear-head” outlined at a buff yellow. Underneath the eyes are identifying triangular markings, known as the subocular markers.
Like most pythons, the climbs of their African rock python are little and easy to the touch, and people across the lips have been fitted using heat-sensitive pits, very similar to those located on venomous pit vipers. Which the snake uses to find their warm-blooded sufferer, even in complete darkness.
Unlike other more’sophisticated’ snake species that have just one lung Pythons have two working lungs. They also have small but visible pelvic’spurs’, these are thought to be the most vestiges of hind limbs.
The African rock python varies considerably in size between different elements of its scope. Generally speaking, in highly populated regions we’ll find smaller specimens, such as in southern areas of Nigeria. Females are usually larger than males.
This snake only reaches its highest length of approximately 7,5 m in locations where the human population density is significantly reduced, for example, Sierra Leone.
One specimen killed in 1958 and allegedly 7 m (23 ft) in length, was promised to have had a 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) juvenile Nile crocodile in the gut.
The southern inhabitants can be distinguished by its smaller dimensions with mature snakes averaging approximately 2.4 to 4.4 meters in span.
They contain larger scales in addition to the head, a darker coloration, the mark on the trunk consist of different and separated blotches instead of forming an uneven stripe, along with also the subocular markers is smaller or even absent.
Their name changes among subspecies with northern type sometimes known just as rock python, although the southern specimens are called Natal rock python or only African American python.
The African Rock Python appealing skin pattern is somewhat like that of the Burmese python and also in captivity, the 2 species are sometimes confused. From the wild, they’re in totally different areas of earth.
Just like other pythons, like the Burmese Python, the African rock python is a non-venomous snake and utilizes constriction to destroy its prey.
After the snake gets a grip on your prey, it will coil round it, tightening its coils every time that the unlucky victim breathes out. Nevertheless, death is regarded as caused due to asphyxiation or crushing but because of blindness.
African Rock Python Subspecies
They are one of 11 extant species in the genus Python, with two subspecies recognized. The African rock python species has been clarified for the first time in 1788 from Johann Friedrich Gmelin, also a German naturalist.
Even though the southern subspecies was explained just in 1833 by South African Zoologist Sir Andrew Smith.
Some experts believe the more southerly inhabitants of this snake to be a completely different and separate species, known as the South African Rock Python (Python natalensis), although in most other cases it is considered a subspecies.
African rock python (Python sebae sebae – Gmelin, 1788) – Located in Central and Western Africa.
Southern African rock python (Python sebae natalensis – Smith,1833) – Located in the southern part of the African continent.
African Rock Python Diet
The African rock python main diet is composed of an assortment of large rodents, African antelopes, reptiles, fruit bats, monitor lizards and even crocodiles in forest areas, also on rats, dogs, poultry, and goats in suburban places.
Several documented cases are also famous of this large python species hunting down and killing humans, like this event of one killing and eating a young boy.
African Rock Python Reproduction
The African Rock Python becomes active in the age of 3 to 5 years old and they replicate throughout the spring. The female lays a clutch from 20 up to 100 eggs.
The incubation extends for a period of about 2 to 3 months in this period that the female will guard the eggs harshly against any predators. The hatchlings are created with a length of approximately 18 to 24 inches.
African Rock Python Conservation
The species has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List. The African Rock Python conservation status is not a matter of concern however they are no longer widespread like the past.
The most important reason behind the species decline is largely due to human hunting due to their meat or skin. Today they are primarily restricted to hunting reserves secluded places and parks.
African Rock Pythons are listed on appendix 2 of CITES (Conservation on International Trade of Endangered Species) and hence are legally protected, especially in areas where the species is both more vulnerable and diminishing.