Africa's Super Snake


She’s 20 feet long. She has no hands, no arms, no legs, but she’ll crush you to death in 15 minutes. She’s an African Rock python and she’s queen of the constrictors – snakes that squeeze for a living. Despite her cold, reptilian reputation, she has an endearing side, she’s a great mother, even in the face of adversity. Snakes that grow to 20 feet are few and far between, but there are 3 that are regulars in this elite club. The Pythons and the shorter, yet much heavier Green Anaconda. The fear that these snakes evokes in humans is nothing short of primal.

But it’s the Rock python that combines her size and strength with a unique speed and aggression that places her at the apex of this giant, cold blooded pile. Her home is a valley in sub equatorial Africa, where she hunts a huge variety of prey – everything from birds to deer, and she’s learnt how to make use of her human neighbors too, sneaking into farms to feast on chickens and rabbits. Contrary to belief, she doesn’t crush her prey to death – she seldom breaks bones, instead she triggers cardiac arrest in her victims.

When she’s ready to breed she’ll be much more vulnerable. She “calls” a suitable male using a pheromone. Her nesting behavior is far from reptilian and she’s a very caring mother. She lays up to 100 eggs, in a hollow tree or termite mound, and they’ll take 2 to 3 months to hatch. During this time she stays coiled around them – guarding them religiously. She even stops eating – only leaving the nest to drink and to bask. Her single goal is survival, and she focuses all her expert ability on this – her blinding strike speed, her crushing strength and her ornery attitude. Her young have a great chance of making it out of the egg. But from then on, they’re on their own