Pythons live near the equator, in Asia and Africa, where it is hot and wet and their huge bodies can stay warm. They make their homes in caves or in trees and have become used to living in cities and towns since people have been moving in on their territory.
Being closer to people means that not only will the snakes hunt the livestock (pigs, goats, dogs, cats and chickens), it also means that they may attack people when feeling threatened, although this rarely happens.
Speaking of feeling threatened, one of the biggest reasons that pythons are killed is for their large, beautiful skins. Some people actually like to wear snakeskin pants, vests, cowboy boots, and shoes!
Pythons are constrictors, which means that they will ‘squeeze’ the life out of their prey. They coil themselves around their prey and with each breathe the creature takes the snake will squeeze a little tighter until they stop breathing completely. Once the heart stops the prey is swallowed whole. The entire animal is digested in the snake’s stomach except for fur or feathers. What do you think happens to the fur, feathers, beaks, and eggshells? The ‘extra stuff’ gets passed out as… you guessed it…snake POOP!
Along with farm animals, pythons will feed on wild animals such as lizards, caiman (small alligator-like animals), monkeys and antelope. The larger the meal, the longer it takes to digest. This means that a python may only need to eat 4-5 times a year!
The Green Tree Python is around 7 feet long and lives in…you guessed it...the trees! It waits in the leaves of the high forest branches and strikes out at birds as they fly by.
Pythons lay eggs and will coil their bodies around the eggs to keep them warm and protect them until hatching.