The Animals of the Aberdare Ranges of Kenya: African Rock Python

African Rock Python

African Rock Python

African Rock Python
Python sebae

The African rock python sports perfect camouflage. It is very difficult to spot it, especially when it is sleeping among rocks.

One outstanding characteristic of the African python is that it is a very large snake. It has jaws that open extremely wide to facilitate swallowing of large prey. This snake continues to grow throughout its life span. The African rock python can grow up to 28 ft (8.5 m), but averages 3 – 5 m. It weighs in at over 45 Kg (100lb). It has shiny scales and is patterned in hues of black, brown, tan , cream or even yellow. This beautiful skin has been one of the snake’s downfall as it is hunted and killed for it.

The African rock python is a powerful constrictor. Wrapping itself around prey in loops, it crushes its prey to death. This snake is non venomous and has no fangs but it has very sharp teeth and is inclined to bite when provoked. The resulting wounds are prone to infection.

This snake is dependent on water, so is often found near water. It can submerge itself and ambush prey. It feeds on small rodents, antelopes, warthog, dogs, monkeys, goats and crocodiles. In turn, it has natural predators, namely the African honey badger and the mongoose.

The African rock python is a solitary animal. It is also nocturnal and naturally aggressive. This, in combination with its size, makes it a predator worthy of great respect.

The Animals of the
Aberdare Ranges of Kenya
by
Nyambura Kiarie

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