The Reticulated Pythons’ teeth hold no venom, but they can still do some damage. If a python bites and then detaches itself, the slender fangs will scarcely leave a scar. If however, the snake is forcefully removed, because of the curved teeth, the wounds could be more severe.
The snake bites as a form of defense. If they intend making a meal of you they will wrap their coils around you, blocking off airways and cutting off blood circulation to the brain.
Be careful how you handle your snake, as a nervous person can put a snake into defensive mode. Snake experts tell snake owners to never position the face or body over one of these snakes when they’re nervous. You can be seen as a threat and this could result in a serious bite.
Reticulated pythons aren’t venomous snakes. They’ve got a strong jaw grip, but they’ve got small teeth which aren’t capable of drawing too much blood. The bottom line is that non-venomous snake bites pose no real threat, but with venomous snakes, it’s a totally different story. However, all snake bites are susceptible to infection if not treated carefully.
Even though the snake is non-venomous, they have been known to eat to carrion.
Reticulated Python Bite Force
Unfortunately, the force of a Reticulated Python bite hasn’t been studied very well, but it is estimated that a python can exert a force of 200 psi. The psi of snake bites isn’t something too many scientists are interested in.
Brains, in general, can’t withstand powerful acceleration, and when a person does experience strong accelerations, blood goes to the feet and the brain is deprived of vital oxygen. If it happens too quickly, blood can’t return quickly enough to the brain and the person loses consciousness.
But what about snakes? A snake like the reticulated python manages to find a way around this when striking their prey with such force. It is thought that it is the structure of the snake’s skull that makes provision for this. Their skulls are mobile with joints that allow for stretching. Snakes, in other words, can absorb shock.
There have been attacks on humans by the Reticulated Python, and it is interesting to look at the force these snakes exert during constriction. According to a pressure reading, after one such attack on an Indonesian field worker, biology experts tell us that the python generated almost 300 millimeters of mercury per square inch (psi) during constriction. Such a force can do a lot of internal damage to the prey.
Even after this test, snake experts believe we don’t know the full strength of a large reticulated python.
Reticulated Python Teeth
In the wild, these snakes will eat monkeys, wild pigs, birds, and even porcupines. In captivity, however, they are fed a rabbit every few weeks. Human beings can also appear on this snake’s menu, but this, not the rule. You may think that a rabbit every other week is too little for such a large snake, but it has low metabolism and doesn’t eat for weeks or even months.
When one thinks of eating, you think of teeth. The Reticulated Python is a carnivorous snake, using its sharp teeth that are curved towards the back of the mouth. They use these teeth to hold onto their prey which they swallow whole. The entire animal is digested in the snake’s stomach.
The teeth of the python are also used in combat. The snake often fights with other males, and this combat action from these snakes has meant the teeth becoming ‘weapons of war’ which are used to inflict wounds on the other snake.
The pythons have about 100 teeth – 70 above and 30 in the lower jaw. You can’t see the teeth as they’re sheathed inside the gums. Muscles pull the gums back, baring the teeth when they strike. Then you can see that the Retic’s teeth are curved towards the back of their mouth.
Intelligent Enough to Know their Owners?
These are intelligent snakes, and it is because of this, that some python owners report that their snakes have shown recognition and responsiveness towards them.
There are warnings though because even if you think your snake is ‘familiar’ with you, that saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ definitely applies here with this snake. While being handled, this huge snake can turn on you, and caution always has to be exercised.
Some Reticulated Python owners allow these serpents to come out of their huge enclosures and to slither around their home. They feel they know their pet snake and that the snake should be allowed to roam freely from time to time like the other pets in the home do. Other python owners speak from experience and issue a warning to not allow this, more so when there are small children and animals in the home.
These pythons are known as ‘psycho’ snakes by some people who have had a bad experience with them. Some snake lovers might take offense to a name like this, saying these are gentle snakes. These snakes are wild animals and their temperament can be unpredictable. Yes, they are fairly solitary creatures and you could go as far as saying that they are somewhat docile, but you can never let your guard down, particularly because the snake is so powerful.
Reticulated Python Bite Forceful but Harmless
The Reticulated Python is the world’s longest snake and also a widely distributed serpent. Most times people simply refer to them as Retics or Tics for short. They are a subspecies of the Python family.
The longest Retic so far is documented at 33 feet. On average, however, between the males and females, they grow to between 14 and 16 feet. A Reticulated Python in captivity can reach between 12 and 20 years of age.
The Origin of the Name ‘Reticulated’
It is unfortunate that this snake is hunted for its skin, and we can only hope that the large non-venomous constrictor doesn’t hit the endangered list. It has an interesting skin pattern which looks like mesh or netting, and this is precisely how this snake got its name.
Scientists use the word ‘reticulate’ when describing a net-like formation of a pattern – a pattern like a network of lines. The word ‘reticulate’ means ‘network’. In nature, reticulated pythons are a mix of colors – dark green, olive green, white, black and gold, but there are also many morphs.
Ball Python Bite
Ball pythons don’t have fangs as such but they do have teeth. Most people just refer to them as fangs, regardless of size. These snakes constrict their prey, and their teeth move the prey into position to be swallowed.
Many people just assume that a snake is synonymous with a bite, and they’re often reluctant to keep them as pets. The great thing is that there are so many non-venomous snakes that make great pets, and which aren’t automatically assumed to be biting snakes. Yes, if the Ball Python is startled or irritated, they can bite. A Ball Python bite will just give you a few puncture marks and a pin-prick of blood to show for it.
The chance of a Ball Python biting you is actually rare. Captive bred snakes become used to people and being handled. Most of these snakes are fairly docile, which is why they always come as recommended for beginner pet snake owners.
The way to avoid Ball Python Bites
The best way to avoid bites from your Ball Python and any animal for that matter is to avoid giving it any reasons to strike out and nip you.
- Hunger can cause your snake to bite you. Ensure your snake is fed timeously.
- Feeling threatened is another reason a snake such as the Ball Python will bite you. When a snake is afraid because of quick movements, it becomes agitated and stressed and will strike out.
- A snake that is shedding also just wants to be left in peace. A snake’s eyesight changes during shedding. It can sense your hand probing around in the cage and will likely want to strike out.
- When approaching your Ball Python, always go from behind so as to handle your snake. Remember, if you are in any way nervous around your docile Ball Python, you can invest in a pair of reptile hand gloves. These gloves are bite resistant, are multi-functional and are ideal for use by veterinarians, pet shop workers, and pet owners.
Even the best, most gentle of snakes can have a bad day. They’re irritable and want to bite. Ball pythons, Corn snakes and California king snakes are nearly always well behaved. It is why they make such awesome pets, known not to bite. The Reticulated Pythons is generally more aggressive and more prone to biting when threatened.
Leave Reticulated Pythons to More Experienced Snake Keepers
Reticulated pythons are known for having an aggressive temperament in the wild, but captive-bred Retics can make awesome pets with the right kind of care. Certainly, because of their huge size, they are only recommended for those snake keepers who have experience with snakes and who understand the different species.
Younger Retics are more prone to bite, but as they mature, they become more familiar with their owners. Always be sensitive to your pet snake and never ever let your guard down.
Never become too familiar with this python of yours. Even familiar, satiated, content snakes can have that bad day and strike out at you, ensuring that your name hits the news as the next human being to become lunch for their pet Reticulated Python.
Check here how to keep an Anaconda as a pet.