(14 April 2017) Most snakes I – as a snake catcher – encounter are in urban environment: gardens, verandas or even rooms and attics. This beauty though was hunting in Joalah National Park, last Wednesday night. A very healthy looking 6 foot carpet snake. Non-venomous, as are all pythons. Pythons can be recognised easily because of the heat pits: small thermal sensors that look like vertical lines on the lower jaw, used to track prey.
The colour pattern of the skin is rather different as well from other snakes. For years I have taken photos of the heads of the pythons I caught for relocation, and they are all different: like the tails of the whales. That research also showed that snakes don’t return to where they came from. We do not relocate snakes far away from where they are caught, because they are territorial. But I have never seen the same snake at the same location twice.
In “Green Island in the Sky” you will find a photo of a breeding python and her eggs, and hatchlings.
Last fun fact: pythons have legs. Near the point where the tail begins, two ‘spurs’ can be seen on most pythons, being the remnants of what once were the pelvis and the femur. The spurs are mainly used in mating and combat, explaining why they are bigger on male than female pythons. Evolution on the go.
I used flash light this time, loosing the ‘romance’ of the nocturnal atmosphere of the forest, but gaining a very good look at the snake. Normally we use red light to find creatures at night, because that light does not affect their eyes that much. Using torch light for photography also reduces the impact, contrary to flash light. Sorry’bout that this time.