Python reticulatus

The Reticulated Python is the world's longest snake, but not the heaviest. One specimen was 33 feet long and weighed over 300 pounds. A more usual length is 25 feet with some larger specimens reaching 30 feet.The beautiful markings on the skin of this snake make it almost impossible to pick it out in the leaf litter of the forest floor. Its favorite hunting technique is to just lie in wait for some animal to pass by. When its prey comes within reach it seizes it with a lightning strike, and holds on with a vice-like grip. It then coils its body around the animal and squeezes so that the animal can no longer breathe, and as a result dies. The prey is then eaten. While stories about this python eating large prey such as wild boar, adult deer and full grown leopards are true, its more usual prey are much smaller: rats, rabbits, squirrels, birds, monkeys, etc. These are much easier to overpower, and their consumption does not inhibit the snake from ordinary movements. When very large prey are consumed the python may be almost immobile for several days.After laying her eggs in a hole or cave the female abandons them to hatch by themselves.