Animal Diaries Archive
16 November 2007G'day again from the reptile department! You may remember our October article on one of our Burmese pythons 'Big Phill'... well I'm proud to announce that Big Phill's parents Mr. and Mrs. Burm have done it again. Mrs. Burm has laid another clutch of eggs from which we hope to raise the next era of photo snakes. Burmese or Indian pythons are one of the largest snakes in the world growing to over 5 meters long and have been recorded at weights at over 100kg! With this in mind there is no surprise that they have one of the largest eggs of all reptiles. You can see a comparison here with a water dragon egg. You may also be surprised to learn that not all reptiles are oviparous (lay eggs). Some snakes and lizards are viviparous which means they give birth to fully formed live young. Some snakes such as the red-bellied black, give birth to fully formed young in an egg like membrane sac that they emerge from within around 24 hours.
After laying, Mrs. Burm would coil around her eggs to keep them warm. She then will 'shiver' every few seconds over her eggs to keep them warm. 'Shivering' involves a number of muscle contractions that can allow her to raise her body temperature up to 10 degrees above the ambient air temperature. To ensure the highest rate of survival for Mrs. Burms young we have decided to raise them in a purpose built egg incubator. If all goes to plan we should be telling you all about our newest baby additions in about 60 days.