The largest snake on Earth is the reticulated python: a description of where it lives, what it eats, size and weight

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The largest snake on Earth is the reticulated python: a description of where it lives, what it eats, size and weight
The largest snake on Earth is the reticulated python: a description of where it lives, what it eats, size and weight

All those who have seen this giant snake at least once can confirm that this meeting is rather unpleasant, especially if it happens unexpectedly. The only desire that arises at that moment is to jump as far as possible and not see this monster. However, this snake is ranked among the most beautiful, distinguished by such monstrous sizes.

The article provides information about the largest snakes on the planet - the anaconda and the reticulated python.

giant snakes

General information about snakes

It should be noted that human fears about snakes are greatly exaggerated. After studying their behavior, we can conclude that the likelihood of dying in traffic and other accidents is much higher than from a bite of a poisonous snake. Of course, among such reptiles there are representatives that inspire fear and horror, although they are not poisonous. This is especially true for the largest individuals in terms of size.

Which is the mostthe biggest snake on earth? The Asian reticulated python is considered the longest and largest snake. In the natural environment, it reaches unimaginable sizes, while having a weight equal to 1.5 centners.

Python or Anaconda?

In fact, the first place is fairly divided between the Asian reticulated python and the giant anaconda. It is still impossible to say with accuracy which of them is the largest snake on Earth.

giant anaconda

Both snakes can be quite dangerous for humans. To date, two reliable cases of the "cannibalism" of these animals are known. For the first time, a 14-year-old boy turned out to be a victim of a python, and an adult woman for the second time. However, it should be noted that both cases are the exception rather than the rule, as this species of snake rarely attacks prey that it cannot swallow.

What is the size and how much does the reticulated python weigh? Theoretically, in natural habitats, these snakes can grow up to 12 meters in length, while having 150 kilograms of weight. However, in fact, only a single giant python living in the Philadelphia Zoo can be accurately measured. Its length is one meter shorter than the anaconda kept in the Zoological Society in New York.

History in Brief

The history of the planet says that previously there were real giant snakes, which zoologists called titanoboa. The largest snake on Earth is a real monster that could easily swallow a whole crocodile. It reached 14 meters in length with a weight of more than a ton, andlived in South America about 58 million years ago.

Titanoboa snake

It is known that this snake was not poisonous, but it killed with its powerful physical strength, squeezing its prey with its huge body.

After the disappearance of the dinosaurs, Titanoboa still existed for about 10 million years. At that time, she was the largest predator on Earth.

Reticulated Python

The size of the snake in its natural habitat, as noted above, reaches up to 12 meters in length. The weight of an individual is no more than 150 kilograms.

Reticulated python is a non-venomous snake (python family). It got its name due to the complex pattern on the body, which includes a chain of diamond-shaped light spots located in the middle of the back, as well as dark triangular spots connected to each other (they are light on the sides). The scales of the snake have a strong iridescent sheen, the head is light.

reticulated python

Damage to prey when biting is inflicted by pointed and curved teeth, thanks to which pythons are excellent hunters and protect their territory. As a result of skirmishes, opponents are left with terrible lacerations. This variety of this order of reptiles is called by many a killing machine.

It should be noted that reticulated pythons of small islands are much smaller in size than mainland relatives and individuals living on larger islands. It is reliably known that the largest reticulated python kept in captivity is a female named Samantha. Its length was about 7.5 meters. She was caught in Borneo and died in 2002 inBronx Zoo in New York.

Distribution, habitats and lifestyle

This species of snake is widespread in Southeast and South Asia. The habitat of the python covers the territories of Burma, India, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, etc.

Reticulated Python Lifestyle

Where the reticulated python lives, tropical forests and woodlands grow. You can also meet these reptiles on the mountain slopes. There is a known case when a snake was found in Java, at an altitude of up to 1200 meters above sea level.

Python mostly has a terrestrial lifestyle, but it also climbs trees quite well. Preference is given to wet areas and often settles along the banks of rivers and other bodies of water. It swims well, while it can swim in the open sea. Hunting is mainly carried out at night and at dusk, during the daytime it is in shelters (for example, in caves).

Food and Enemies

What do reticulated pythons eat? The diet includes a variety of vertebrates: monkeys, small ungulates, birds, rodents, reptiles, etc. Quite often, they attack domestic animals such as goats, pigs, dogs, and poultry. As a rule, young goats and pigs weighing up to 15 kg become victims, but there are cases when pythons ate animals heavier than 60 kg. Bats are also hunted, and the reptile catches them right in flight. The python's tail can catch on the uneven walls and ceiling of the cave.

Regardingnatural enemies, the most famous are Siamese and combed crocodiles, as well as false gharials. Crocodiles prey on snakes of various sizes. As a rule, reticulated pythons are absent in those places where Komodo monitor lizards live, which was the result of a rather active predation of the latter in relation to pythons. Young snakes can sometimes be eaten by king cobras, striped monitor lizards and feral dogs.

Giant anaconda

The largest snake can be considered an anaconda (giant or green) up to 10 meters long. Its weight can reach up to 220 kilograms.

Giant green anaconda

In the US (New York) in the terrarium of the Zoological Society contains the largest anaconda weighing 130 kilograms and about 9 meters long. The largest individual in length was recorded in 1944. Its length was 11 meters and 43 cm. It was measured by a geologist who was looking for gold at that time in the Colombian jungle. The generally recognized record for today, listed in the Guinness Book, is 12 meters. In fact, today the average length of this snake species is 6 meters. In nature, larger individuals are extremely rare.

Anaconda habitats

One of the largest snakes on Earth lives in the backwaters of the Amazon and in the tropics of South America. Despite the huge number of legends and films about this species of snakes, the anaconda is not so scary for humans, as isolated cases of attacks have been recorded.

Anaconda snake

The diet of snakes is small and mediumthe size of mammals, which she strangles with her body, and then swallows. While the prey is digested (within a few days), the snake slumbers in seclusion.

Due to the fact that anacondas live in places that are hard to reach for humans, it is very difficult to establish their exact number.

Some interesting facts

Anacondas, pythons are undoubtedly the largest snakes in the world. Once there were rumors that on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in the jungle, a huge snake was found - a python. Its length was 14.8 meters, with a weight of 447 kilograms. After this reptile was caught, it was sent to the reserve, where it was given the name - Guihua. However, this python, which was once reported in many media, actually turned out to be almost 2 times smaller.

The largest snake in captivity from birth is the anaconda Medusa. Its weight is 135 kilograms, with a body length of 7.62 meters. This well-known animal can be seen in the movie "Anaconda". Today, the snake lives with its owner Larry Elgar, who feeds his pet with mice (18 kg weekly). He trains the ward, knowing full well that anacondas can swallow people. However, he believes that Medusa is not capable of this due to the fact that she has been kept in captivity for a long time next to people, and has long lost her instincts. The only two things she enjoys doing are sleeping and eating.

In conclusion

It is known that in the 30s of the XX century, a reward of 1000 dollars was announced to those who could presentevidence of the existence of an anaconda over 12.2 meters long. Over time, the value of the prize increased to 6 thousand dollars, and the required dimensions of the snake decreased (9 meters and 12 cm), but the award was never awarded. Today, its size is 50,000 dollars, and the 9-meter snake that lives in the New York City terrarium has the largest record size so far.

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