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Ball Python

Python regius
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Sub-Saharan Africa
Grasslands, savannas, and sparsely wooded areas.
Ball pythons are constrictor snakes, which means that when they find something to eat, they grab their prey, coil around it once or twice, and squeeze. This action causes the prey's artery pressure to drop, vein pressure to increase, and blood vessels to start closing. The prey's heart lacks sufficient strength to pump against the pressure, resulting in the cessation of blood flow.
They can slither silently without disturbing their prey. Due to their shape, they can maneuver into a rodent's underground hole, locate the rodents, and consume them. They possess a highly elastic tendon at the back of their jaw, enabling them to swallow relatively large prey. Each side of their jaw can move independently.
Ball pythons possess pit organs, which are small holes above their mouths. These organs contain a membrane capable of detecting infrared radiation emitted by warm bodies, such as potential food, up to approximately one meter away. Ball pythons lack an outer ear and tympanic middle ear, rendering them insensitive to airborne sound. However, their middle ear bone, connected to their jaw bones, likely grants them acute sensitivity to substrate vibrations. Additionally, their eyes are well-suited for low-light conditions.
Despite their hunting prowess, ball pythons derive their name from their defensive behavior of curling into a ball when threatened, with their head tucked in the center. They seek refuge in mammal burrows and tend to undergo brumation in underground hiding places.