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 Post subject: Snake: Southern African Python
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:44 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Python seen on road around Bergendal on 25/02/06.

Anybody else got pics??

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:52 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
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(Obviously on a nightdrive, near Olifants in this case. ± 3 meters long)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Location: Marloth Park, South Africa
April 2003 near Lower Sabie :)
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Last edited by Freda on Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:50 am 
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I have never seen (none that I can recall) Pythons in the wild and on Sunday I was fortunate to see 3 huge ones – and that in mid winter :shock:
(was not taken IN 1 of the Sanparks, but I hope we can all learn something more / new)

No 1 was really a monster, the largest anyone of us has ever seen, unfortunately it was a bit too far for a clear pic :( Tried to approach it by foot… but it quickly went into hiding. So I went looking for it - tried about 10+ different angles but it disappeared like mist before the sun. Only place it could be was in the water. I stayed at the spot for almost 10min+ but nothing.
(my family said it was waiting for me to be it's Sunday afternoon snack :roll: )

Pilane, mfb… does anybody know how long they can stay under water?

Not even 15 minutes away we saw yet another huge one…

Image

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Look how thick the body is:

Image

Aren’t snakes suppose to be less active during winter?
What do large ones like this 1 eat? I mean surely rodents, fish etc can’t be enough?

Look at the muscles:

Image

While sitting looking at this beauty we saw yet another one – no3 (not as large as #1 and #2) he was opposite the dam and next moment he (or she) was in the water… was like lightning!! I have never seen something like that :shock: he motored through the water like you won’t believe!
So never ever think you will outsmart or escape a python in water. Out of the water and on to the wall where it drove the birds crazy.

Image

Image

I read that they can get up to 6m!

Does anyone have some extra info for me?

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Last edited by Jakkalsbessie on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:22 am 
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African rock python (Python sebae sebae)

The African rock python likes to be near water and the edges of forests.
Like all snakes, pythons are cold-blooded; they are the same temperature as the environment.
They continue to grow all their lives, getting bigger and bigger each year.
At 9 meters in length and with a weight of up to 110 kg it is the third largest snake in the world.
They look like they would be slimy, but they are dry and smooth to the touch.Like all snakes, the African rock python moves by slithering its body over the ground.

All pythons kill by constricting their prey.
The African rock python can live for up to a year without food if the animal it eats is big enough to sustain it. Starch ligaments hold the jaw together, which stretches out like a rubber band allowing it to eat prey as big as an antelope.
Small teeth surround its jaw.
The teeth are used to hold prey as the python coils its body around it.

The African rock python is dependent on water and becomes dormant during the dry season.
It can lay up to 100 eggs.
Their mother incubates them for 2-3 months and aggressively defends her eggs.
The hatchlings are 40-60 cm in length.
The newly hatched pythons have brighter colors than their parents.
They live up to 30 years.
This animal lives alone and hunts alone.
The python stops eating during their dormant period.

When the snake is small, predators, such as monitor lizards, crocodiles, birds of prey, cats, and pigs hunt the python.
It's funny that when this snake is all grown up, it hunts these animals for food.
It has few predators as an adult, except for man, it is killed for its beautiful skin, meat, and fat (used in tribal medicines).
Other predators include crocodiles, badgers, and mongooses.

The African pythons eat crocodiles, pigs, goats, birds, gazelles, and cats.
They don't chew their food but have strong acids in their stomach that digests their food well.
Normally they eat small animals but if hungry enough they will eat very large animals.
Farmers think the rock python is useful because they eat large cane rats.

The African python is not endangered but it is on CITES App ll and listed as vulnerable.
This means you need a special permit to capture it.
The rock python is killed for its skin and meat.
Rock python's skin is made into hand bags and shoes.

Source.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:47 pm 
Thanks for posting these amazing photos JB. :wink:

I really think that the big one had something to eat ….
I wonder if they will eat each other?

What makes you 3 sightings very special is that pythons are normally active at dusk and at night…although, they do like basking, especially after a meal.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:26 pm 
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Found this python on the Crocodile River road (S 25).

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:26 pm 
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What a sighting! :D I'd say three on one day could be considered as a world record! 8)

JB, I have never timed them but I am sure that in cold water they should be able to stay under for at least for half an hour.
Yes, snakes are less active in winter but Southern African snakes do not go into full hibernation, rather a state of aestivation or torpor.
They will still come out to sunbath and sometimes they will even feed, which bring us to your question on feeding.
Prey consists mainly of Dassies, cane rats, rabbits/ hares, monkeys and small antelope.
Personally I feel that they will basically eat anything that they can overpower.
If they are lucky to take large prey it will last them for a while. (Up to a couple of months) (They hunt by ambush)

I know of an Afrock (oops :roll: wrong name) that feeds exclusively on dassies (in the wild) He will take a large number in one feeding session which will see him through for about 2-3 months.

DuQues, there are a few points I do differ on…
"Like all snakes, pythons are cold-blooded; they are the same temperature as the environment…"
I would not use this term. Their blood is not cold. They are Exothermic as they rely and use external factors to regulate their body temperature. 9 m is also a bit optimistic. an average of 6 m would be more acceptable- but I have my doubts if you would find this size in the wild. 4-5 m would rather be the norm.
Yes, they do incubate the eggs by warming their bodies in the sun and then the female coils around the eggs to xfer the heat to them. This is seen as parental care as she would stay with them until the first shedding (about 2 weeks) and the only other shake that is thought to do similar is the Spotted skaapsteker.
The amount of eggs laid is determined by the size of the female. (The larger the more) An average of 50 eggs is the norm.

They kill by constriction, but interestingly the do not break any bones of the prey. They constrict every time when the prey exhale until the prey dies of cardiac failure due to the fact that it cannot breathe anymore...

They bite like a Pitbull and the wound normally become infected. Therefore it does’nt get stiched up - a long healing process which leaves a nasty scar. Those 100+ recurved
teeth are like Minora blades…

The name African rock python (Python sebae sebae) has been changed to the Southern African Python (Python natalensis)

Jumbo, no they will not eat each other. I had 6 together without any aggression towards each other. :D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:17 am 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
On the Letaba river road:
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:39 pm 
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I once saw a python that had eaten a whole duiker. I know that the books say that it is what they do, but it's pretty amazing to see a snake with duiker-sized lump in the middle!

Anyone a fan of a The Little Prince? For those who are, it looked just like the picture of the boa constrictor that had eaten a sheep...

DuQues's posting said it can take a python can live for up to a year on a large meal. What I wonder is how long it takes for it to digest something as big as a duiker? Presumably they are fairly vulnerable while they are digesting such a large meal?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Taken at Lower Sabie 04:
ImageLarge

ImageLarge


Last edited by Elsa on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pics resized.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:34 pm 
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Hi, I have noticed a slight colour variation is various pics of the African Rock Pythons submitted.
Can anyone tell me if the ARP's colouration perhaps gets darker as they get older or is it perhaps dependendant on location etc. :?
Unless its just the type/light of pic taken. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:31 pm 
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Quote:
Can anyone tell me if the ARP's colouration perhaps gets darker as they get older or is it perhaps dependendant on location etc


100% correct
Colouration differ from areas and the do get a bit darker as they grow older [/i]


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:00 pm 
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Hi.

In December 2004, I went on morning walk from Biyamiti Camp. There were 4 people scheduled for the walk and only I showed up. It was only myself and the 2 rangers who were very friendly and knowledgeable. We were lucky to see Giraffe and Rhino at close range. The scariest was when the front ranger spotted an African Python moving slowly across a rock some 25m ahead! The rangers handled the situation well but were clearly extra cautious and a were very uncomfortable for the remainder of the walk. SCARY stuff :shock: Thanks for information on the snake. I can see why even the rangers were a bit shaken.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:01 pm 
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wildtuinman wrote:
I recall the incident along the croc river where two field rangers out on patrol walked into a ARP. The snake grabbed one man by the shoulder and started to entangle him. His colleague reacted quickly and killed the snake with a knife if I remember correctly. Scary stuff, Kruger man-eating snakes! :shock:
:( :(

And there went another Afrock down the drain. All unnecessary. I mean, was it really necessary to kill it :?


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