An 18-foot 150-pound female Bali yellow-head reticulated python (Python reticulatus) gets a physical exam by the Academy’s resident veterinarian and team of biologists. These snakes originate in Southeast Asia and feed on birds, lizards and mammals.
Thelma, an 11-year-old reticulated python – the longest species of snake in the world – laid 61 eggs in the summer of 2012. This is despite having had no contact with a male in her four years at Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, USA: here.
Trading in skins of the reticulated python is such a lucrative business that illegal exports are rising sharply and existing trade restrictions are being circumvented on a large scale. This is endangering the stability of populations. Therefore, researchers are developing genetic methods for tracking down individual origins and potential trade routes of the skins: here.