What Are Some Interesting Facts About Ball Pythons?

interesting-ball-pythons Credit: Steve Harwood/CC-BY-2.0

The ball python is a reptile that lives a long life, thrives in a dry climate, is considered sacred in many cultures and has a gentle disposition. This reptile is considered the longest-lived snake, living for an average of 30 years. The oldest ball python on record lived nearly 48 years.

This snake ranges throughout Africa, thriving in thorn scrub, dry forest savannahs and dry tropical forests.

Usually it lives in burrows, where it lays between four and 12 eggs during reproduction. The female snake coils its body around the eggs and stays in place until the eggs hatch, which can take up to three months.

The ball python gets its name because it tends to curl into a ball with its head tucked under its coils when it is frightened. This tendency is a manifestation of its gentle disposition. Many cultures revere the ball python, considering it sacred. African rulers supposedly draped the snakes over their limbs like jewelry, which is how the snake received royal python as a secondary name. The ball python is endangered because people hunt it for its distinctive skin, which varies between a red and brown color with light brown blotches, and its high demand as a pet.