How Big Do Pythons Get?

Giant snakes are actually very popular animals. Mostly they’re popular because people fear them and develop interests in things that they fear. They’re also super popular because you can see certain pythons in zoos and others can be domesticated pets. Either way, giant snakes have found their way into the hearts of many people, and oftentimes, people view pet snakes as an opportunity to learn about an animal. Not all snakes are threats and oftentimes, they’re just as scared of you as you are to them.

One of the scariest snakes are pythons. These are snakes that you can see behind an enclosure in a zoo or in an enclosure in someone’s house. Snakes like the python are mainly scary because of their size. Here’s information about the python and how big you could expect the python to get.

What are Pythons

Because there are so many snakes, it’s hard to know which one is a python. Pythons are non-venomous snakes that can be seen in Asia, Africa and Australia in the wild. They’re not native to North or South America, but many people in North and South America have them as pets. There are 41 species of pythons, so there’s a wide range of behaviors and characteristics that pythons might have. Saying the word “python” is very broad, so if you want some more specific information, you’ll have to know what kind of python you’re referencing.

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In general, there are some physical characteristics that unite pythons. Most pythons are rather large snakes. The family Pythonidae is home to some of the largest snakes in the world. The color and size of the snakes vary, but depending on their local habitats and need for camouflage, they can have colors that are elaborate for solid. For example, if your python lives in a forest, like the green tree python, then they are likely to have bright green scales to blend in. If your python lives in a swampy area, then they might be solid brown to blend into all of the dirt and plants on the ground.

Pythons are interesting because they have heat- sensing pits in their lips to help them find their prey. Pythons are cold-blooded like most reptiles, but they eat mammals that are warm-blooded. The labial pits help them sense the heat radiating from their prey and this makes it so that they don’t really need to hunt during the day. It’s safer for them to hunt at night, so this is an evolutionary change that helps them survive.

Pythons are all bulky snakes with distinct features. They have triangular shaped heads and sharp curving teeth. They trap prey with these teeth very easily. One of the interesting things about a python’s features is that they’re considered to be a primitive family of snakes because they still have vestigial parts, like a pelvis and hind legs. They also have two lungs and most other snakes have evolved to have only one.

How Big Do Pythons Get

Because there are over 40 types of pythons, all of their sizes vary. Some pythons, like the ball python, can be as small as three feet. Other pythons, like the reticulated python, can be as large as 23 ft long. The size of a python is dependent on the type of python and whether it’s a female or male.

The weight of pythons also vary. The longest and largest python is the reticulated python, which is about 250 pounds heavy. The lightest python is the anthill python which is around 7 to 7.4 ounces heavy. The weight varies on the type of python and whether it’s a male or female.

What Do Pythons Need to Reach Full Size

To reach full size, pythons need a proper diet, a proper enclosure or habitat, and all of their health concerns addressed. Of course, these things are easier to give pythons that are domesticated because in the wild, they don’t have access to all of these things all the time. This means that the wild pythons live less because they’re not able to get these things. Here’s some information about pythons and what they need in their diet, enclosure and for their health to reach their full size.

Proper Diet

In the wild, pythons are ambush hunters. They wait in a camouflaged area and lash out at their prey when the time is right. They use their fangs to grab hold of their prey. In the wild, they eat mammals and often go eat just about any mammal they can fit into their mouth. Snakes can eat any mammal so long as it isn’t wider than their head because if it is wider than their heads, they can’t get into their mouth.

If you own a python, you’re probably going to feed it rodents. They sell pre- killed frozen rodents for you to feed your snake. The thing about this is that you have to keep them separate from your food, which means you should have a separate freezer for your snake. Some snakes have a hard time getting used to pre- killed mice, so many people unthaw it so that it’s easier for them to get used to.

It might be hard for you to get used to feeding them mice too. Although it seems a little daunting, it is just part of owning a snake. One of the things that you can do is gently set the mouse down somewhere in their cage so that they can decide to eat it when they want to. This gives them the chance to hunt for their food the way they would in the wild. They might feel better if they have the ability to engage with their meal like that. If you are just moving a snake to its enclosure, know that your snake is going to be upset that it’s in a new environment for a while, so you’ll have to wait to feed it.

Younger snakes have to eat more often than adult snakes. You can usually feel adult snakes every 10 to 14 days, but this may vary from breed of python. Otherwise, ask your vet how often you should feed your python. Sometimes younger snakes have to eat around twice a week and they have to eat smaller mice because of their small mouth. If you’re ever having trouble feeding your snake or getting them to eat, you’ll definitely want to take them to the vet as soon as possible because eating is very essential to their health. Lack of appetite is also often a sign of health issues.

Proper Enclosure

In the wild, pythons are found in a variety of habitats. You can find pythons in rainforests, grasslands, savannahs, swamps, woodlands, or even deserts. This means that depending on the python that you own, they might need different kinds of enclosures (View on Amazon) to thrive. The first thing you have to do is find out what kind of habitat your python would have had in the wild. This will allow you to give them everything that they need to have a replica of how they would have lived in the wild.

The larger your python is, the larger enclosure they need. If you have a super large python then you’ll definitely need a huge enclosure. You’ll probably need one that’s larger than 30 gallons to house them comfortably. Make sure that the enclosure that you buy is suitable for them because a cramped snake is not a happy snake.

Then the next thing that you need to add to the enclosure is substrate. There are a lot of options for the substrate that you put in your enclosure. Some people use shredded bark, while other people use AstroTurf or other kinds of substrate. Do research on what kind of substrate your python needs to survive. For example, if you own a ball python, which is a common pet snake because of its smaller size, they enjoy AstroTurf (View on Amazon). Other snakes might enjoy shredded bark more so you’ll want to buy the substrate that they prefer because you’ll always need substrate in the enclosure.

All snakes need places to retreat to, so you’ll definitely need some places that they could hide under. If you have a particularly large snake, then it might be hard to find something to hide under, but you just might want to give them a shaded area or dark place that they can retreat to. A lot of snakes climb on branches, so if you have a tree climbing snake, you might want to add some sturdy branches into the enclosure. Never bring branches or leaves straight from outside because then you can have parasites and bacteria on them and get your snake sick.

Another thing you need is a thermostat and a hygrometer (View on Amazon) because all snakes require heat regulation and humidity regulation. Out of all these things, your snake will not be able to regulate their temperature because they’re cold-blooded. You should have a hot side and a cool side of the enclosure and this should be constantly regulated because your snake can get sick from lack of heat.

Health Concerns

The health concern of every single breed of python is different, but in general there are common diseases that you should watch out for in your pet snake.

Common diseases of pet snakes include mouth rot, parasites, skin infections, inclusion body disease, respiratory disease and septicemia.

Mouth rot is infection of the mouth that appears as hemorrhages and their gums. They begin to produce an excessive amount of mucus that will have blood or pus in it. You should see this mucus on the inside of the edge of their mouth. In severe cases, your state probably won’t be eating. This often isn’t a primary disease, but it might be the result of other injuries that they might have had to their mouth or two issues such as poor nutrition, proper temperature, or overcrowding their enclosure.

Parasites can be internal or external and they’re very common in pet snakes. They don’t have obvious signs, but you can detect them due to physical examinations or fecal tests. This is why it’s very important to take your snake to their annual checkups. Parasites can cause diarrhea, breathing issues, vomiting, swelling, itching, and mouth infection.

Some of the other issues are more apparent and have obvious signs, but otherwise you can pinpoint these health issues by paying attention to your snake and making sure they get to their vet appointments. Anytime you notice something out of the ordinary, take your snake to the vet because pet snakes are a little finicky when it comes to their health.

Now that you know a little bit more about how big pythons get, you can use knowing what their habitat and diet should be to ensure that your python reaches their largest size. If you have gotten a python yet, consider the breed of the python because that is a big indicator of what size it’ll be.