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Python Ball behavior

The Ekoi people of Nigeria tell a tale of Python, who took from his mouth a shining stone and sold it to Sheep for a farm. Through a series of events the stone ended up in God's hands who placed it in the night sky whereupon it became the moon. Indeed the royal denotation of the Ball Python's scientific name (Python regius) is no accident.

The "Ball" aspect of this snake's name comes from its unique and peculiar aspect of wrapping itself into a ball when startled or confronted with a potential threat. The Royal Ball Python is nocturnal. These snakes are relatively docile and rarely bite. Owners report that they are generally easy to handle. Privacy is very important to Ball Pythons. When caring for a captive Royal Ball Python it is crucial to provide the snake with at least one "hide-box" where it may go for privacy. These snakes are sensitive to relative humidity. In a captive habitat the ambient humidity should be kept to at least 60%. It's also a good idea to provide a hide box with a higher relative humidity. Optimal temperatures for the habitats of Ball Pythons are between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a warmer area in the low 90s. At night the temperature should be about 75 degrees. Royal Ball Pythons are solitary creatures except when breeding. Most Ball Pythons eat rodents such as gerbils, mice, and rats, although some prefer birds (chicks). Royal Ball Pythons take four or five days to digest a meal and prefer to do this in a dark, warm place, i.e. "hide-box". If a snake refuses to eat after an extended period of time, it may indicate stress due to its environment, or possible disease. Water should be provided in a large heavy bowl, so that the Ball Python has plenty of room to soak and cannot tip the container over. The Royal Ball Python has an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years in captivity. The Python's lifespan is shorter in the wild.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Python_Ball".
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