Life History

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Another remarkable fact about the Reticulated Python is based around the teeth.
This species is far more willing (and able) to enter into severe male versus male combat which often results in deep wounds at the very least (within a captive environment especially). As biting plays such an important role in male to male combat they have evolved the “weapons” to help emerge the victor when such battles occur.

Reticulated python skull

Each Reticulated Python has approximately 100 tooth sockets (70 in the upper jaws and 30 in the lower).
In comparison to humans this may seem a large number, but, in the python world this is actually quite a low figure. As with other features of this snake though the importance is placed in quality and not quantity. The front teeth have evolved to present not only recurved but tear drop shaped cross sections. Like other snakes, the recurved nature of the teeth is to aid prey capture. The tear drop shape though has evolved purely for combat, as the pointed edge faces into the mouth somewhat like a razor blade.
As part of defensive maneuvers, when restricted the Reticulated Python will spin in order to try to get free. This move combined with the tear drop shaped teeth of the aggressor results in deep, slashing style wounds to the attacked animal. It is far from uncommon to see bone or internal organs exposed after such bites.

 

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