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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Royal Python: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Royal python facts about the most majestic snakes of the world

Have you ever wondered whether there are nonpoisonous snakes?  The answer is yes and here’s one perfect example; royal pythons. It is called the ball pythons due to one particular reason which you will find out later. Python regius (ball python) is a lovely, obedient snake that is calm and curious. If you keep your fear aside and take care of these snakes, ball pythons will make wonderful pets. It is cool to have a snake as your pet, isn’t it?  The dark brown color with light brown spots on its body makes it beautiful and royal. This species is native to West Africa and Central Africa.

Do you want to know more about these non-venomous, longest-living snake species in the world? Here are some interesting to read and fun facts about royal pythons which will make you keener about them. Afterward, do check our other articles on python facts and Burmese python facts as well.

Royal Python Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a royal python?

The royal python is a snake that belongs to the reptilian family. Unlike other snakes, ball pythons are non-poisonous and one of the longest living snake species in the world. Due to pythons’ docile and calm nature, ball python snakes are popular pet snakes available in the pet trade. Ball pythons use the defense action of curling themselves to a tight ball. These python snakes love to relax, cuddle and are naturally adaptable.

What class of animal does a royal python belong to?

A royal python, or ball python, belongs to the reptilian class due to its ability to crawl and produce eggs. These snakes are called the ball pythons as these animals have the ability to curl into a tight ball as a defensive posture. Ball python snake's length ranges from 48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm). The female adult pythons are larger than the male ball pythons as the males can grow only up to 36 in (91.44 cm) length while females can extend up to 60 in (152.4 cm) length.

How many royal pythons are there in the world?

Royal pythons or ball pythons are mostly seen in the parts of West and Central Africa.  There are no accurate estimates of the total number of royal pythons in the world, but it is estimated that the total number of ball python snakes should be upwards of a million.

Where does a royal python live?

Royal Pythons prefer savanna grasslands, open forests, and sparsely wooded areas. Since ball pythons are friendly and calm, these animals can also live in a hospitable environment. Ball python snakes are also found in lands cleared for farming. Ball pythons love to live in warm temperatures.

What is a royal python's habitat?

Royal pythons or ball pythons are usually burrowing dwellers who live underground. Ball pythons sleep during the day and are active during the night. So ball python snakes are called nocturnal creatures. The ideal habitat for ball pythons is a warm surrounding. Since ball python snakes are popular pets, these animals can happily live with humans provided with an appropriately sized enclosure. Ball pythons are quite happy when they have a proper habitat.

Who do royal pythons live with?

Even though royal pythons are friendly and relaxed, they prefer their own territory as a preferred habitat location. Baby pythons can live together as they are of similar size, but adult pythons can harm each other if they stay together. Ball pythons are happy living in their own territory. In captivity, these snakes tend to live alone.

How long does a royal python live?

Ball pythons or royal pythons have a relatively long lifespan for a snake. When bred in captivity, a ball python snake's average lifespan is around 20 years but some females have had a lifespan of over 30-40 years in captivity. However, in the wild, the royal python's life span is around 10 years normally.

How do they reproduce?

Royal pythons attain sexual maturity at the age of around three or four years. Ball pythons have a long breeding life that lasts from two to 30 years. Female ball pythons are oviparous and lay up to 11 large eggs. The ball python eggs usually stick to each other and lose the adhesion a few days before hatching. Male and Female have different sexual maturity ranging from 16-18 months for males and 27-31 months for females.  Once they are hatched, females leave their offspring by themselves.

What is their conservation status?

Ball pythons are under the Least Concern conservation status and maintain a healthy population. Also, there is an increase in the ball python population in these years despite the illegal hunting. Hence ball pythons do not face any extinction threat due to ball python care steps taken by different organizations.

Royal Python Fun Facts

What do royal pythons look like?

Royal python plays an important role in controlling the population of small mammals in the wild.

As the royal python is a snake, these living snakes of the world have smooth scales. Its body is in black or dark brown color with light brown spots. There are black markings on its cream belly.  Its head is kind of small and its neck is slim. There is a vast variety of colors and patterns. Ball python snakes also have yellow stripes from the nostrils with the eyes. You can identify a normal ball python morph with help of the contrasting black and gold markings, and the alien heads present on the sides.

How cute are they?

Of course, ball python snakes are so cute in their appearance as well as behavior.  Their dark brown skin with spots is so adorable. They are very docile and love to relax, play hide and seek and cuddle. They are very docile which makes them a favorite among reptile lovers. Very cute, isn’t it?

How do they communicate?

Snakes do exhibit some form of communication for finding and defending breeding partners. They communicate with other snakes by collecting the chemical signs that they emit.

How big is a royal python?

The adult ball python is about 48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm) long and is one of the longest snake species in the world, It’s 10 times bigger than a normal snake. Captive-raised ball pythons grow to more than 3 ft (91.44 cm) in length within three years while it may take up to four years for the python to attain full size.

How fast can a royal python move?

Royal pythons usually don’t move faster. An average royal python can move at a speed of 1 mph (1.6 kph) on open ground. They don’t need to chase the prey so they don’t usually move quickly. Their speed is medium compared to other snakes. While the royal pythons can swim, they are not known exactly for their swimming prowess.

How much does a royal python weigh?

On an average scale, an adult royal python weighs around 3.6-5 lb (1.63-2.26 kg). Usually, female royal pythons are longer and heavier than males. This is quite light in comparison with the biggest snake in the world, green anacondas that can weigh up to  500.4 lb (227 kg) and 27.5 ft (8.4 m) in length.

What are the male and female names of the species?

As the royal python is a reptile, the species is P. regius.  The male is called a male ball python and the female is called a female ball python snake.

What would you call a baby royal python?

Just like a baby cat is called a kitten and a baby dog is called a puppy, a baby python also has a special name, they are called hatchlings as they come from eggs.

What do they eat?

The diet of the ball python in the wild includes rodents, mice, and birds. They have heat-sensing pores on their upper lip to help detect the prey when they are ready for feeding. Squeezing the prey to death is the method of hunting and feeding for ball snakes. Ball pythons have certain predators too that include birds of prey, lions, and tigers.

Are they poisonous?

Royal pythons are not poisonous but are nonetheless dangerous predators with 30 sharp teeth. This wild animal rarely harms humans as these animals are very calm and friendly. This reptile species kills their prey such as mice or small mammals using the method of suffocation. They feed on a wide range of rodents and birds.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to its friendly and cool nature, this reptile makes an excellent pet as it has the ability to recognize its owner or handler. These wild animals love to cuddle and relax. This wild animal is beautiful and do not need constant attention. This species is calm and obedient which is an ideal nature for keeping it as a pet. Before you get a ball python pet, make sure to get a complete understanding of ball python care, ball python diet and how to feed them, ball python health, and behavior.

Did you know...

No two snakes look alike. Each snake is unique in its pattern and has got different colors. These ambush predators are typically brown or tan colors. They shed their skin as they grow, shedding takes around a week to complete.

Another interesting fact is that royal python hatchlings shed their skin every four to six weeks. Before shedding their color fade slightly and their eyes turn blue.

In cool climates, they shiver to generate heat and keep their clutch warm. They also have a special ability to detect heat from other organisms.

Why is it called a Royal Python?

There is an interesting and cool fact behind the name of royal pythons. These ambush predators are called royal pythons because the African tribe leaders used to wear snakes as jewelry, especially as a necklace.

How long do ball pythons grow?

Usually, royal pythons grow from 48-60 in (121.9-152.4 cm).  The first three years are the fastest time period for growing and afterward, it slows down. Females grow longer and become heavier compared to male pythons. In captivity, a ball python will reach its full size in around three years. In the wild, the case is different as it takes more time to grow to its fullest. It will take around five years to complete its growth.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including giant tortoise facts or alligator facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Royal Python coloring pages.

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