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Reticulated Python
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Family: Pythonidae
Genus: Python
Common name: Reticulated Python, Reticulate Python, Tanahjampea Reticulate Python ( P. r. jampeanus ), Selayar Reticulate Python ( P. r. saputrai )
Scientific name: Python reticulatus (Schneider, 1801)
Species: P. reticulatus
Birth: 550-750mm (22-30in)
Adults: 3000-6000mm (118-236in)
Maximum: 10000mm (394in)
Region: In India snake found in only Nicobar Islands. Also Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Distribution: This species is the largest snake native to Asia. In general, reticulated pythons with lengths of more than 6 m (20 ft) are rare, though according to the Guinness Book of World Records it is the only extant snake to regularly exceed that length. One of the largest scientifically measured specimens, which was from Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, was measured under anaesthesia at 6.95 m (22.8 ft) and weighed 59 kg (130 lb) after not having eaten for 3 months. Widely published data of specimens that were reported to be several feet longer have not been confirmed.
Even what was widely accepted as the largest ever "accurately" measured snake, that being Colossus, a male kept at the Highland Park Zoo (now Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1950s and early 1960s, with a peak reported length of 8.7 m (29 ft), recently turned out to be wrong. When Colossus died, April 14, 1963, its body was deposited in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. At that time its skeleton was measured and found to be 20 ft 10 in (6.35 m) in total length, significantly shorter than the measurements previously published by Barton and Allen. Apparently, they had been adding a few extra feet to the measurements to compensate for "kinks", since it is virtually impossible to completely straighten an extremely large live python. Too large to be preserved with formaldehyde and then stored in alcohol, the specimen was instead prepared as a disarticulated skeleton. The hide was sent to a laboratory to be tanned, but unfortunately it was either lost or destroyed. Numerous reports have been made of larger snakes, but since none of these has been measured by a scientist nor have the specimens been deposited at a museum, they must be regarded as unproven and possibly erroneous. In spite of what was for many years a standing offer of $50,000 for a live, healthy snake over 9.1 m (30 ft) long by the New York Zoological Society (NYZS), known since 1993 as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), no attempt to claim this reward was ever made.
The color pattern is a complex geometric pattern that incorporates different colours. The back typically has a series of irregular diamond shapes, flanked by smaller markings with light centres. In this species' wide geographic range, much variation of size, colour, and markings commonly occurs.
In zoo exhibits the colour pattern may seem garish, but in a shadowy jungle environment amid fallen leaves and debris it allows them to virtually disappear. Called disruptive coloration, it protects them from predators and helps them to catch their prey.
The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 69-79 rows at midbody. There are deep pits on 4 anterior upper labials, on 2 or 3 anterior lower labials, and on 5 or 6 posterior lower labials.
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