Are pythons poisonous?
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Q:

Are pythons poisonous?

A:

Quick Answer

The San Diego Zoo explains that none of the large snakes, including pythons, boas and anacondas, are venomous. Instead, these snakes kill their prey by suffocating it within its muscular coils. This process of asphyxiating their prey is called constriction.

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Full Answer

While pythons do not inject venom into their prey, they do have long teeth that help to capture food, according to the San Diego Zoo. As a group, pythons consume a wide variety of prey, including rodents, rabbits, lizards and birds. Tree-dwelling pythons, such as green tree pythons, have longer teeth than ground-dwelling pythons. These long teeth help pythons penetrate the feathers of their avian prey more efficiently. Many zoos feed captive pythons previously frozen rabbits and rodents.

According to Wikipedia, venom and poison refer to substances that are delivered in two different ways. Venoms are injected by means of fangs or a stinger, while poisons are harmful if they are touched or injected. Even deadly snakes, such as rattlesnakes, are correctly described as venomous rather than poisonous. Poisons are used by organisms like mushrooms and millipedes to protect themselves from being consumed by predators.

The San Diego Zoo explains that pythons' natural range includes Africa, Asia and Australia. Unlike boas and anacondas, pythons deposit eggs to reproduce.

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