World of Ball Pythons?

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What is the rarest ball python morph?

The rarest ball python morph is the pastel zebra morph.. The gene was first discovered in 2005 but not cultivated for successful breeding until 2015 by Roussis Reptiles. These amazing animals can be combined with recessive morphs like ghost and clow.

Is it cruel to keep ball pythons?

Ball pythons are not aggressive by nature, so they’re an easy target for our greed. … Crammed into tiny tanks, subjected to inappropriate conditions and cruel breeding practices, the many thousands of captive-bred ball pythons are suffering too. Wild caught or bred, life in captivity is no life at all for a wild animal.

Has a pet ball python ever killed anyone?

It’s very rare that pythons kill humans, but not unheard of. It occasionally happens if the circumstances are just right. Oftentimes, it’s just kind of a perfect storm where you get a big hungry snake in close proximity to humans. But humans are not normally part of these snakes’ natural prey.

What is the biggest ball python in the world?

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the longest ever captured snake to be 32 feet. The heaviest — a Burmese Python kept in Gurnee, Ill. — weighs 402 pounds, the book said on its Web site.

The ball python (Python regius), also called the royal python, is a python species native to West and Central Africa, where it lives in grasslands, shrublands and open forests. This nonvenomous constrictor is the smallest of the African pythons, growing to a maximum length of 182 cm (72 in).[2] The name “ball python” refers to its tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened.[3]

The ball python is native to west Sub Saharan Africa from Senegal , Mali , Guinea-Bissau , Guinea , Sierra Leone , Liberia , Ivory Coast , Ghana , Benin , and Nigeria through Cameroon , Chad , and the Central African Republic to Sudan and Uganda . This species is known for its defense strategy that involves coiling into a tight ball when threatened, with its head and neck tucked away in the middle.

This defense behavior is typically employed in lieu of biting, which makes this species easy for humans to handle and has contributed to their popularity as a pet. In the wild, ball pythons favor mammal burrows and other underground hiding places, where they also aestivate . Parental care of the eggs ends once they hatch, and the female leaves the offspring to fend for themselves.

The ball python is primarily threatened by poaching for the international exotic pet trade . Other threats include habitat loss as a result of intensified agriculture and pesticide use. [1] Rural hunters in Togo collect gravid females and egg clutches, which they sell to snake ranches.

Wild-caught specimens have greater difficulty adapting to a captive environment, which can result in refusal to feed, and they generally carry internal or external parasites . Most captive ball pythons accept common rats and mice , and some eat birds, such as chicken and quail . Feeder animals are typically sold frozen and thawed by owners to feed to their pythons.

These snakes usually lay one clutch per year and the eggs hatch around sixty days later. Usually, these eggs are artificially incubated in a captive environment at temperatures between 8890 degrees Fahrenheit. It has been shown that the spider morph gene is connected with major neurological issues, specifically related to the snake’s sense of balance.

The ball python is particularly revered by the Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria , who consider it symbolic of the earth, being an animal that travels so close to the ground. Even Christian Igbos treat ball pythons with great care whenever they come across one in a village or on someone’s property; they either let them roam or pick them up gently and return them to a forest or field away from houses. If one is accidentally killed, many communities on Igbo land still build a coffin for the snake’s remains and give it a short funeral.

[25] [ obsolete source ] In northwestern Ghana , there is a taboo towards pythons as people consider them a savior and cannot hurt or eat them. According to folklore a python once helped them flee from their enemies by transforming into a log to allow them to cross a river. The Complete Ball Python: A Comprehensive Guide to Care, Breeding and Genetic Mutations .

“Searching for snakes: Ball python hunting in southern Togo, West Africa” . ^ “House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence” . CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list ( link ) ^ “Breeders Meetings New Policy June 2017” .

“Exploring the African Traditional Belief Systems in Natural Resource Conservation and Management in Ghana” .

Description[edit]

The ball python is black or dark brown with light brown blotches on the back and sides. Its white or cream belly is scattered with black markings. It is a stocky snake with a relatively small head and smooth scales.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The ball python is native to west Sub Saharan Africa from Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria through Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic to Sudan and Uganda.

Behavior and ecology[edit]

This species is known for its defense strategy that involves coiling into a tight ball when threatened, with its head and neck tucked away in the middle. This defense behavior is typically employed in lieu of biting, which makes this species easy for humans to handle and has contributed to their popularity as a pet.In the wild, ball pythons favor mammal burrows and other underground hiding places, where they also aestivate. Males tend to display more semi-arboreal behaviors, whilst females tend towards terrestrial behaviors.

Diet[edit]

The diet of the ball python in the wild consists mostly of small mammals and birds. Young ball pythons of less than 70 cm (28 in) prey foremost on small birds. Ball pythons longer than 100 cm (39 in) prey foremost on small mammals. Males prey more frequently on birds, and females more frequently on mammals.

Reproduction[edit]

Females are oviparous and lay three to 11 rather large, leathery eggs.

Threats[edit]

The ball python is primarily threatened by poaching for the international exotic pet trade. It is also hunted for its skin, meat and use in traditional medicine. Other threats include habitat loss as a result of intensified agriculture and pesticide use.

Conservation[edit]

The Ball python is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as it experiences a high level of exploitation so that the population has probably declined in most of West Africa.

In captivity[edit]

Wild-caught specimens have greater difficulty adapting to a captive environment, which can result in refusal to feed, and they generally carry internal or external parasites. Specimens have survived for up to 60 years in captivity, with the oldest recorded ball python being kept in captivity 62 years, 59 of those at the Saint Louis Zoo.Most captive ball pythons accept common rats and mice, and some eat birds, such as chicken and quail.

Breeding[edit]

Ball pythons are one of the most common reptiles bred in captivity. They usually are able to produce a clutch of six eggs on average, but clutch sizes also range from one to eleven. These snakes usually lay one clutch per year and the eggs hatch around sixty days later. Usually, these eggs are artificially incubated in a captive environment at temperatures between 88–90 degrees Fahrenheit. Some captive breeders use ultra-sounding technology to verify the progress of reproductive development. This can help to increase the chances of successful fertilization as the ultra-sound can help predict the best times to introduce males and females during the breeding season.In captivity, ball pythons are often bred for specific patterns, or morphs.

In culture[edit]

The ball python is particularly revered by the Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria, who consider it symbolic of the earth, being an animal that travels so close to the ground. Even Christian Igbos treat ball pythons with great care whenever they come across one in a village or on someone’s property; they either let them roam or pick them up gently and return them to a forest or field away from houses. If one is accidentally killed, many communities on Igbo land still build a coffin for the snake’s remains and give it a short funeral.