Pythons 101 | National Geographic

Pythons 101 | National Geographic

– [Narrator] Almost no other
predator on the planet inspires as much terror and curiosity as the python. One of the world’s longest
snakes is a python. The reticulated python of Southeast Asia usually grows around 16 feet long. However, the current record
holder for the longest reticulated python measured at 25 feet. Pythons’ long bodies
help the reptiles kill by way of constriction. They wrap their bodies around
prey and every time the prey exhales, the python squeezes more tightly. This disrupts the prey’s
respiration and blood flow inevitably leading to its death. Pythons have legs. Called spurs, these two
limbs appear as small bumps on the sides of a python’s pelvis. While too small for locomotive function, the spurs and pelvis are remnants of pythons’ evolution from lizards. This evolution occurred
around 100 million years ago. One possible early ancestor of pythons called the tetrapodophis
was a fusion of lizard and snake-like features and had hind legs. Interestingly, scientists
found that pythons had retained the genetic mutation for growing limbs. This means pythons may be capable of having fully functional
legs once again. Pythons do not unhinge
their jaws when they eat. Contrary to popular belief, pythons cannot unhinge their jaws. Rather, their jaws rest
on a multi-hinged joint that provides for incredible flexibility and enables the snakes
to devour large prey. Flexibility is also aided
by pythons’ lower right and left jaw bones. Unlike mammals which have
one solid lower jawbone, pythons lower jaws are
made of two bones linked by an elastic ligament. This allows the bones to stretch
more widely to help swallow prey at least two to three times wider than the snake’s head. Pythons skulls can “walk” over prey. Pythons have six rows of
teeth in their skulls. Two in their lower jaws,
two in their upper jaws, and two more in the roof of their mouth. Through a phenomenon
called cranial kinesis, or pterygoid walk, each
of these rows can be moved independently which
allows snakes to drag prey into their throats without
the use of front limbs. Python teeth also help this process. They’re extremely sharp
and curve backwards. Perfect for catching
and clinging onto prey. Some pythons have become invasive species. While native to the tropics of
Africa, Asia, and Australia, several python species
have been transported to the United States by
way of pet trafficking. Florida’s Everglades
National Park in particular is home to tens of thousands
of invasive Burmese pythons. Poor care, neglect, and accidents
have caused many pythons originally taken in as pets
to kill native wildlife, other pets, and even children. But when left alone in
their natural habitat, pythons are generally docile. Pythons are some of nature’s
most incredible predators. Their long bodies,
constricting capabilities, and skulls optimize for
devouring large prey are enough to strike fear (hissing) and awe in anyone’s heart.

100 Replies to “Pythons 101 | National Geographic”

  1. While pythons can typically grow up to be 200 pounds, a 403-pound Burmese python named Baby currently holds the record for the heaviest snake in captivity. What's your favorite python fact from this video?

  2. Why do you guys not mention anything like how most pythons are definitely not 17 feet on average or that the most commonly kept one is just 3-4 feet (ball pythons). Also all the footage except maybe 1 clip (ball python eating a mouse) was of pythons eating things at least the size of a medium/large rabbit. Cmon Nat Geo, as awesomely informative as this was about python physiology, it didn't do much to dispel a lot of the misnomers regarding python size, lack of predation on humans, or other common misconceptions that cause the fear of them so many people have.

  3. It was cool but the thing says pythons 101… there were a looooooot of boas in that video…. U can tell because pythons have heat pits, boas do not…

  4. It was kind of sensationalistic to say they "have eaten children". All that does is perpetuate irrational fear about them. And the whole "invasive species" thing really doesn't hold water. Florida won't have the kinds of rodent problems that a place like New York has because snakes eat rodents. Ireland has a huge problem being overrun with rodents because they have no native species of snake to keep the population down. They could really use some snakes transplanted where they live! At one time or another each species moved from somewhere to somewhere else, even breeds of dog did. Oh, and people came from many different contries to the United States!

  5. In televison they calling this snake as anakonda an it's a very dangirous for people like an afreacan people…

  6. Pythons are really cute and sssssssssnuggly. I love them. In fact, I have a pet Ball Python and he's really adorable.

  7. There was a time we used to watch them live, now we have to visit zoo to watch them. Humans are destroying earth.

  8. I have a Ball Python named noodle. I've held a Red Tail Boa (I know it's a Boa and not a python but I loved it nevertheless) and a Burmese Pythons tail. Noodles are so awesome I love them. Hopefully this video does good on how awesome they are, have yet to watch it

    Woah this was really informational. I love it 😀

  9. Only Burmese pythons are currently an invasive species in Florida (and they will never get further than that for climatic reasons). They aren't going to be easy to eliminate from FL however.

  10. I once hold a few ball pythons on an exotic animal expo. They are so docile and not slimy at all. I don't know but it feels so calming holding them and them crawling in my arms.

  11. But ball pythons are cute…….. and woma pythons, and green tree pythons, and even burmese pythons…..

  12. I like how the narration says "no other creatures inspire so much terror" and right on the word "terror" it shows a ball python lol yea ofc so much terror, I'm so scared :'D

  13. Thank you nat geo for not painting pythons in a bad or scary light. they truly are docile and interesting creatures.

  14. Check your facts!!! This video is full of INCORRECT INFO!!!! The record for snake length is, and has for many years been, nearly 33 ft. They are THE LONGEST, not ONE OF the longest snakes.
    Not the first time NatGeo has proven they don't check facts.

  15. What would happen if we were to alter the “on and off” switch for the leg mutation cause them to grow? Would they be able to grow semi to fully functional limbs and would it changed the way they moved around in their environment (their environment being a heavily controlled lab)

  16. Record length goes to a 33 foot retic, not 25 feet. More importantly, Mainlan Retics can get anywhere (in typical conditions, non dwarf or superdwarf variations of any kind) from 10 to 25 feet. Also it's typical to break 200 pounds when reaching those longer lengths.

  17. All the pythons in the Everglades are cancelled and should be exterminated. The fact that some people were dumb enough to adopt these animals they knew nothing about, only to later dump them when they became too large is extremely depressing. But they must leave the Florida Everglades. Same with fire ants they’re cancelled in Florida as well.

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