Python snakes are constrictors, have special heat-sensing organs and can grow up to 33 feet long. Pythons live in a range of habitats throughout Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia including grasslands, swamps, rain forests and woodlands.
A python is a constrictor, meaning that it wraps its body around prey and constricts or squeezes the animal until it suffocates. It only uses its teeth to capture, not kill, the prey. Once the animal dies, the python unhinges its jaw so that it can swallow the animal whole. The python digests and uses almost all of the animal for nutrients, although any fur and feathers appears in its waste.
The python has specialized organs or pits located on its face that helps it to sense heat patterns from warm-blooded animals. It also flicks its tongue in the air to help smell prey. When it finds a likely victim, it usually ambushes it from the ground or from a slow-moving river. A python that feeds on a large animal can limit hunting to four or five times a year.
A python can grow to be very large depending on the species. The largest python, the reticulated python, can reach more than 30 feet in length and up to 300 pounds in weight.