The African Rock Python (Python sebae) is the largest snake in Africa. Most snakes are dangerous and just a sting will lead to their venom spreading like wildlife through your body.
Unlike venomous snakes, the African Rock Python is non-venomous, but equally dangerous and widely known for its nasty temperament.
Of the six largest snakes in the world, this one is found among its ranks along with the amethystine python, Indian python, Burmese python, green anaconda and reticulated python.
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There are two subspecies of the African rock python on the continent that are only differentiated by the patterns on their skin.
They are the Central African rock python and the South African rock python. There is a well-defined large mark in front of the eye of the Central African sub-species, while the South African sub-species has anterior scales broken into 2-7 scales.
They can be found all over sub-Saharan Africa as their name suggests. The Central African rock python are across central and western Africa while the South African rock python are located on the southern and eastern belt.
These humongous snakes can live in the grasslands, forests, Savannah, semi-desert, and rocky areas. At times they can be found lurking around swamps, edges of lakes and rivers or anywhere that there is a constant source of water.
Considering the way they feed, it is right that their bodies are thick and heavily built. They appear covered in colored blotches and the colors alternating from yellow, brown and chestnut to olive.
Its head is triangular and curved and has sharp teeth as well. Averagely, African rock python weighs between 35 to 55 kilograms. There are remarkably larger ones that could weigh up to a whopping 90 kilograms.
During adulthood, the African rock python can be about 3.5 meters, but some have been reported to be 4.8 meters to 6 meters.
Some daring people have tried to keep this snake as pets and that is said to be the primary reason for attacks on humans.
It has been established that they have notorious temperaments so keeping them as pets is at the keeper’s detriment.
There are known reports of the African rock python attacking adults and children alike. However, it is said to be rare for such an attack to happen in the wild.
They prey on several animals with much more success than humans in the wild. The easiest preys are fruit bats, warthogs, large rodents, lizards, monkeys and antelopes.
Other predatory animals like cubs of hyenas, crocodiles, leopards, wild dogs, jackals and cheetahs are also preyed on by the African rock python.
The African rock python is often hounded for its skin, which is used for different leather goods. Another reason why it is hunted is for the pet trade.
Although the African rock python is not on the verge of extinction, the serpents face threats of habitat loss and hunting which should be controlled and monitored.