Animal Diaries Archive
More Young Locals
22 February 2008These pretty little guys are a clutch of freshly hatched Carpet Pythons. 'Carpets' can be found all over Australia and New Guinea in almost all habitats from rain forest to dry wooded areas bordering our expansive deserts. They are split into a number of species and sub-species but they all have the typical ‘carpet’ pattern on their backs. No two Carpet Python patterns are the same. Their patterns are like their finger prints.
Baby Carpet Pythons hatch from eggs that the mother python lays in summer. She finds a nice warm place with a fairly constant temperature and coils around her eggs, shivering regularly to raise her body temperature, keeping them warm. After around two months the babies (called hatchlings or neonates) hatch out and have to fend for themselves. Their mother leaves them to their own devices as soon as they hatch.
It is a very hard life as a hatchling Carpet Python. They are completely non-venomous so have to capture small mammals, frogs and lizards with their little jaws, overpowering them by constricting with their coils then they swallow their prey down whole. Only a very small percentage of baby Carpet Pythons actually make it to adulthood. As you can imagine they are extremely small and can become prey items for nearly any animal bigger than them. At only a few centimeters long, there is a long list of contenders!
These guys (pictured) were found as eggs by a local construction team who did them a huge favour by calling the Australia Zoo Rescue Team. We helped them out by incubating them until they hatched and we will now release them as close as practicable to where their mother left them. We wish them all the best and hope to see them when they are over 6ft long!