Winter is over and with warmer temperatures pythons will be emerging from winter hidey-holes. You’ll find them sunbaking on paths, beach tracks and sometimes on roads, so keep an eye out for them.
Perambulating pythons: Unfortunately roads are where many pythons meet their demise at this time of year. They’re particularly slow slitherers so be careful when you’re driving, there’s a good chance a basking python might be just around the corner or casually making a road crossing.
Paisley pythons: Pythons are beautifully patterned, non-venomous snakes. Their heads are triangular and their colour is highly variable (olive, grey, brown and black) with cream and gold markings. Patterning may be diamond-shaped or more intricate.
Resident pythons: Around this area the coastal carpet python and the diamond python are our local residents. They can live for 20 years and grow to four metres long.
Python Pilates: Pythons kill their prey by constriction and suffocation then eat it head-first. They can separate the two halves of their lower jaw allowing them to stretch their mouths very wide. This, along with extremely stretchy skin helps snakes swallow prey up to four times larger than their normal mouth size. That’s a big gob-full of tucker!
Back-pointing teeth on each side of the jaw alternately grip and release prey, promoting movement into the python’s body. Saliva acts to lubricate and the ribs of pythons aren’t attached to the sternum permitting even greater flexibility.
Food for pythons: Pythons have a ssssixth ssssense for finding food and it lies along their lips. Heat-sensitive pits allow pythons to detect tiny differences in temperature aiding their nocturnal hunting of warm-blooded animals like mice and rats. They also eat lizards and smaller snakes.
Snakes and ladders: Pythons sometimes enter houses and occasionally you might hear one slithering about in your ceiling, but don’t be worried, they’re doing you a favour. They usually only enter when there’s a mouse or rat infestation and they generally leave when they’ve cleaned out the place. They are protected and a licence is required to keep them, so leave them alone and they’ll do the same.
Monty python: In spring sometimes snakes can be seen coiled and writhing about each other in what most people presume is slinky snake sex. It’s actually two males battling for dominance, mating is apparently a more sedate affair.
Python poo, an end-note: How does a python poo? In pellets.
Landcare Dates for September:
(Times are 8:30am to 10:30am)
Wed 5th Seven Mile Dunes – opp William St
Wed 12th Lower Lennox Point – Surfer’s car park
Wed 19th Seven Mile Dunes – north of surf club
Wed 26th Boulder Beach – Coast Rd car park
Further info: www.lennoxheadlandcare.org;
email, email@example.com, phone Shaun on
0448 221 210 or find us on Facebook Lennox Head Landcare.