The world’s biggest ball python is 7 ft. Whether there is a larger one is unclear. The difficulty lies in the fact that few records of this type are kept.
What is a Ball Python?
Scientifically known as Python regius, ball pythons are a type of snake. Unlike the wild pythons, these are mild mannered. For this reason they are very popular as pets. The animal is also known as the Regal Python and Royal Python.
The ball python is naturally found in central and western Africa. The animal can also be seen in savannahs and forests. The ball python can also be seen near open water, provided there is a covering nearby. This is where the snake keeps itself cool. The ball python is capable of climbing, but it prefers to stay in burrows. The snake is most active at dusk and dawn.
The world’s biggest ball python has anal spurs. These look like claws on both sides of its vent. This is also found in all ball pythons. In fact, they are vestigial hind legs. Its tongue is forked, just like other snakes. The patterns and colors vary per region. However, there is no known subspecies of the ball python.
The female is bigger than the male. The average length is 4 feet, although some can reach lengths of 6 feet or more. Their muscular bodies can be six inches in diameter.
The male has a smaller head but their anal spurs are bigger. A young ball python will grow 12 inches in its first three years. Sexual maturity is reached after reaching five years of age.
The ball python’s head has a dark brown color. On the side of its nostrils are yellowish stripes. This goes through the eyes and the rear of the head. The ball python’s underside is white.
Wild ball pythons have an average lifespan of ten years. Domesticated ball pythons live for 20 to 30 years. The record for the oldest ball python is 47 years.
The snake is mild mannered. It seldom bites or even attacks. If it senses danger, the creature will curl into a ball and hide its head. It is this tendency that gives the animal its name.
The world’s biggest ball python as well as small ones can live with other ball pythons. In fact, you can put the snake in a burrow with others provided it is large enough.