Australia’s longest python feeding on feral cats and wallabies is spotted crossing a busy road in the Daintree Rainforest
- A photo of Australia’s longest python snake has taken Australia by storm
- Scrub pythons can grow up to 8.5 m in length and weigh up to 30 kg
- The snakes eat birds, bats, rats, possums and a single house cat
- One was spotted at night over a road in the Daintree Rainforest
Australia’s tallest python species was photographed crossing the street at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest, paying no attention to the fact that it was blocking the road for cars trying to pass.
The shrub python was pictured slithering down a back road by a photographer who posted the photo to a ‘Save the Daintree’ Facebook group.
Its extraordinary size is emphasized by a man casually seen, hands in pockets, closely following the reptile.
A photo of a large shrub python posted on World Snake Day has captivated Aussies
The reactions of the enthusiastic group members ranged from fear to surprise.
“How would that fit in a dunny bowl?” Said one.
“A few years ago we saw one, at least this size, draped over the road as we drove from the Tablelands to Cairns at night. We were very lucky to see such a nice specimen and stopped the car and blocked traffic until it had moved on. It was so big that at first we thought it was a big tree branch in the way,” said another.
‘I was blessed to see one curled up in a tree at night, the first time I visited the Daintree 20 years ago. Such a beautiful color,” added a third.
Also known as the ‘amethystine python’ because of its sparkling opalescent appearance, the snake prefers to live in warm and dense rainforests with easy access to water.
The scrub python is Australia’s longest snake and can grow up to 8.5 meters in length.
Ranked six on the list of the largest snakes in the world, a typical adult shrub python measures between two and four meters with females weighing 15 pounds, while males are generally smaller at an average of five pounds.
The largest has been confirmed to be on the scales at an extraordinary 30 pounds.
While it is by far the most terrifying snake you can encounter, the good news is that the reptile is not venomous and cannot hurt you – unless you are a wallaby.
The snake is known for eating wallabies, but has also been known to consume birds, bats, rats, opossums and other small mammals, including a single domestic cat – one reason why there aren’t many feral cats in the Daintree.
Not too picky with its fare, there are many recorded cases of large pythons in Australia eating items like stuffed animals and kitchen utensils.
The ‘scrub python’ is Australia’s longest snake and can grow up to 8.5 meters long
The python eats its prey, kills and crushes it while digesting its meal.
The reptile, which is mainly found off the beaten track, much to the dismay of the locals, can also regularly slither through the suburbs.
The shrub python has built-in infrared or heat-sensitive labial pits that allow them to accurately detect, stalk, and attack prey at night.
Mainly found off the beaten track, the reptiles are still regularly found throughout Australian suburbs, much to the amazement of locals
What is the Amethyst Python?
Also known as the shrub python, the reptile is not venomous.
The species is found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The snake is so named because when viewed from certain angles in direct sunlight, it displays an amethyst or sparkling sheen all over its body.
Popular among reptile enthusiasts and known for its color and size, it is one of the six largest snakes in the world when measured by length or weight, and is the largest native snake in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
There is no indication that Amethyst pythons are dangerous to humans and they will do everything they can to avoid human contact.
They are usually found in or near tropical rainforest and are generally nocturnal and native, although you can see them basking in the daytime.
Amethystine pythons are carnivores with their diet including birds, bats, rats, opossums and other small mammals.