How Do Pythons Choose Their Prey?

How Do Pythons Choose Their Prey?

How Do Pythons Choose Their Prey? Does the size really matter? Or are they selective of what to consume? Is it true that they feed on anything less than twenty kilos?

A python created panic and information started being shared

So there is this place a few kilometers from Nairobi CBD. Loved by nature lovers, bikers, bikers and anyone who loves forests.

A very huge python was sighted and all kind of information started flying all over the place. Some started seeing it unsafe to visit the place anymore. Some tried calming others by informing on what weight the python can go after. While some just got lost in all this mix.

Let’s get to know about how Pythons get food into their stomach

Pythons are not venomous and kill by squeezing the life out of their prey. They come in different sizes, weight, and length. Whereby their species have the heaviest, tallest and biggest snakes on our planet.

They are best known to preying on mammals, but also observed feeding on other animals such as amphibians, reptiles, etc. Anything that can calm their hunger is welcomed.

Size of their prey preference changes as they grow big. And are known to consume prey from as little as about 5% of their body size to close to 50% of their body size. It’s important not never underestimate this fact.

Unlike other predators that may have to run after their prey or race after them. Pythons are very patient. Once they identify their prey, they will wait until they are too close to them and able to ambush them when they have no idea what is about to happen to them.

They have jaws that contain important pits that help them detect heat from their target. The pits are very important in tracking the warm-blooded animals. They also rely on their vision and smell. These senses help them while hunting.

Once they locate and get in safe distance to their prey. They use their power teeth which are pointed backward to grasp their prey, roll their body around them, squeeze them till there’s no heartbeat, then swallow them whole from their head.

Their jaws have the ability to open at 150 degrees and are detachable. Hence explaining how they can manage to swallow huge prey.

They will then retreat to a safe hidden place for digestion to occur. Spending several days at this particular spot.

More about Pythons

They are found in Asia, Africa, as well as Australia. They can be grouped into approximately thirty-one species. Having some of the largest snakes.

They are cold-blooded animals that depend on the outside factors to control their body temperatures. These factors including sunbathing.

They are targeted by humans for their skins and petting. But have been reported to turn on their owners, hence not reliable pets. That’s why it’s important to let them remain wild animals and pet whatever animals that have already been domesticated.

They reproduce by laying eggs and hatching them when its time. Laying 12-36 eggs.

They can live up to around forty years and have incredible speed. Don’t be fooled, they can be found on land, in water and even on trees. Just like a thief, they sneak around unknowingly to their next dinner.


Pythons are shy animals but not shy to hunt what crosses their path. The one spotted may have been forced by the latest dry season conditions to come out of their hideouts.

Due to their camouflaged skin, we may have difficult to spot them. Plus how they have mastered the skill of patience and sneaking behavior. It’s important to always have a guide while visiting places that may have them. The guides have enough know-how to tell if pythons are around.

It is important to know they are wildlife, hence wild. Meaning they are unpredictable and have no friends. To them, we are mostly equivalent to food.

Photo credits to Wikipedia

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