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The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
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The Burmese Python

Posted by WishbonE at 6:30 PM

Thursday, June 19, 2008

burmese pythonThe Burmese Python (Python molurus) belongs to the class reptilia of kingdom animalia. It belongs to the family Boiidae (subfamily Pythoninae) and is distributed across Asia from Pakistan to Indonesia and South China, with two distinct subspecies. P. m. molurus is the Indian python (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka) while P. m. bivittatus is the Burmese python (Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsula Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia and South China). It is one of the biggest and largest snakes in the world, growing up to 7 meters (20 feet) and weighing up to 91 kilograms (200pounds). It continues to grow throughout life at a great length due to large number of its vertebrae. Burmese Pythons are light-coloured snake with dark-brown blotches bordered in black down the back.

python snake Burmese Pythons are mainly nocturnal rainforest dwellers. They frequent forests near water bodies, swamps, marshes and grasslands. It can move easily in the trees, on the ground, and in water, and is a nocturnal hunter. They spend majority of their time hidden underbrush. In the northern parts of its range it may brumate for some months during the cold season in a hollow tree, a hole in the riverbank or under rocks. Brumation is biologically distinct from hibernation. While the behavior has similar benefits, specifically to endure the winter without moving, it also involves preparation of both male and female reproductive organs for the upcoming breeding season. It has special heat receptors to locate warm prey. Female Burmese Python lays clutches which average 12–36 eggs in the early spring, March or April. She will remain with the eggs until they hatch, wrapping around them and twitching her muscles in such a way as to raise the ambient temperature around the eggs by several degrees. Once the hatchlings use their egg tooth to cut their way out of their eggs, there is no further maternal care. The newly hatched will often remain inside their egg until they are ready to complete their first shedding of skin, after which they hunt for their first meal.

Like other boiids, the Burmese python kills by constriction and suffocation, coiling around the prey and slowly tightening the coils further each time the victim breathes out. It does not crush. The snake uses its sharp backward-pointing teeth to seize its prey, and then wraps its body around the prey and contracting its muscle and killing its prey. Prey animals include a wide range of taxa from small mammals to deer and even leopards.

Burmese Python are now also sold as pet. It is made popular due to their attractive color and easy-going nature. This species has a reputation for docility; they are very powerful animals, capable of inflicting severe bites or even killing a keeper by constriction. They also consume large amounts of food, and due to their size, require large, often custom-built, secure enclosures, which can be very expensive. As a result some are released to the wild by pet owners.


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