ball python question?

Biledemon3

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
6
i bought my first python about 2 weeks ago and i am wondering what in the heck are all the little holes alont the upper jaw? they have a bunch of holes along the top jaw and i was wondering what the heck they are for?

I have been searching for a biology or anaotmy site to help me find more info but im at a loss?
 

K-TRAIN

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
359
i bought my first python about 2 weeks ago and i am wondering what in the heck are all the little holes alont the upper jaw? they have a bunch of holes along the top jaw and i was wondering what the heck they are for?

I have been searching for a biology or anaotmy site to help me find more info but im at a loss?
i dont remember exactly, but i'm pretty sure there heat pits.
 

Mina

Arachnoking
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Oct 4, 2005
Messages
2,136
Those holes are heat sensors. They help the snake locate its food by the body temperature of the prey. That is why you must feed them either live food or if it is frozen/thawed it must be warmed.
 

Midnightrdr456

Arachnoprince
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Jan 17, 2006
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yup they summed it up perfectly. I actually find them really cool looking, being able to see what gives them such a cool sense always intrigued me.
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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Apr 2, 2007
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84
That is why you must feed them either live food
For goodness sake please DO NOT feed live rodents to your snake, it is just too risky. Anyone wanting to see some pictures of horrifically injured and dead snakes as a result of livefeeding just IM me and I'll happily email you a load.

Its much better to feed warmed up, properly thawed out frozen rodents instead. The safest way to do this is to get the food you require out of the freezer the day before feeding and allow it to thaw naturally overnight. Check it is thoroughly thawed by firmly squeezing the chest area between your fingers and thumb - the lungs are usually the last organs to defrost so if you don't feel any ice in the chest cavity then you know the rodent is ready. Best way to warm it up is to place it on a heatmat for a while, or underneath a heatbulb - try to avoid using warm water as it can wash the rodent's odour away and can make it harder for the snake to identify it as prey.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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For goodness sake please DO NOT feed live rodents to your snake, it is just too risky.
i would have to disagree with this . i see no problems with feeding live rodents so long as the person feeding them watches to make sure the snake kills the rodent . i have been keeping snakes for well over 35 years , and though i feed most of my snakes(i have about 20 snakes right now including 10 ball pythons) frozen thawed or fresh killed rodents , i have a couple that will only take live . i have never had problems with snakes being injured by a live rodent . most snakes are very good at taking live feeders with out any problems . heck , thats what they have been doing for millions of years in the wild .

where you run into problems is if a snake is not interested in eating at the time and someone just leaves a rodent in with said snake for long periods of time . if a snake doesnt take a live feeder in 15 to 30 minutes then the feeder should be removed and tried at a later time .

i have seen all the pics of snakes that have been injured or killed by their supposed food , and most of those pics are the product of someone leaving live prey items for long periods of time with a snake that is not wanting to eat for one reason or another . as long as you keep an eye on what is happening when you feed live , and remove rodents that arent taken by the snake in a reasonable period of time , then 99.9% of the risk is eliminated .
 

SPJ

Arachnosquire
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Apr 18, 2007
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Switching snakes to taking f/t is not difficult. It just takes patience.
All of my animals take f/t except for the 10 newest hatchlings. Only one has taken it's first meal so far and I use live to trigger the food response and get them to take their first meal. After one or two live feedings, they will be switched to f/t just like my others.

I take my f/t out of the freezer part the night before and place them in the refrigerator part to thaw a little overnight. I then place them in an empty tub in the rack to continue thawing. By the end of the day when I go to feed, they are completely thawed and warmed from being in the tub and the snakes are already in feed mode waiting since they have been smelling the rodents while thawing.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
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157
hey steve . glad to hear from you .

yeah , i do prefer to feed either f/t or p/k rodents , and even though the largest percentage of snakes will take dead prey items , there are a few(such as a couple of my paulsonis) that just plain will not switch over . thats not to say that they wont eventually switch over , or that i am not continuing to try to switch them , but i refuse to starve a snake just because it wants live food . i always recommend f/t to my customers at the petshop , but i will also recommend trying live if someone has a snake that wont eat f/t and the snake is in real need of some sustenence(sp) .

i just think it's wrong to rule out live prey for a stubburn snake just because some people think it's "too dangerous" for the snake . if feeding live is done responsibly , then i see no harn in it .
 

SPJ

Arachnosquire
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hey steve . glad to hear from you .

i just think it's wrong to rule out live prey for a stubburn snake just because some people think it's "too dangerous" for the snake . if feeding live is done responsibly , then i see no harn in it .
Good to see you here too.:D

I don't rule out live feedings at all. I've dealt with some adult imports and they would only take live ASFR. That's a pain.

I would never starve an animal just because it wouldn't take f/t. I would just keep trying in between feedings to keep it healthy.
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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...as long as you keep an eye on what is happening when you feed live , and remove rodents that arent taken by the snake in a reasonable period of time , then 99.9% of the risk is eliminated .
I am a vet and just last week I had to remove a ball pythons left eyeball because it was bitten into by a rat. When I asked the owner why he fed live rodents he replied 'Well I thought it would be ok because I was whaching.' It took a split second for a rodent to inflict an extremely serious injury and it makes no difference as to whether you are 'keeping an eye on what is happening' because once the damage is done it cannot be undone. Ask any knowledgeable vet and you will get the same response - live feeding is dangerous, especially when mature rodents are involved.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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well , as i stated , i have been keeping snakes(as well as other reptiles) for over 35 years without a problem from live feeders . all i can say is that we can only agree to disagree . i honestly believe (and have 35 years of experience to back my beliefs up) that if done properly then live feeding is not as big a risk as some people make it out to be . i do prefer f/t or p/k , but i will not make an animal suffer from starvation because it wont take a dead prey item .
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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well , as i stated , i have been keeping snakes(as well as other reptiles) for over 35 years without a problem from live feeders
To be fair, this is like saying that my dad has driven a car for 35 years and never been hit by a drunk driver, so obviously drunk driving "isn't as big a risk as some people make it out to be." ;)
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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To be fair, this is like saying that my dad has driven a car for 35 years and never been hit by a drunk driver, so obviously drunk driving "isn't as big a risk as some people make it out to be." ;)
actually it's not the same at all . i dont have to worry about outside influences (like said drunk driver) . i have kept dozens of species of snakes both nonvenemous and venemous . i also work in the reptile industry at a privately owned exotics petshop where i work with hundreds of species of reptiles everyday . i also work with many many customers on a daily basis who come to me specifically for information on their reptiles . i spend atleast 8 to 10 hours a week studying reptiles and have been doing so for most of the time i have been keeping them . i am not saying i know everything , far from it , but , i do know a considerable amount on the subject .

having said all that , i do agree that it is much preferable to feed f/t or p/k rodents , and do so with any snakes that will take them but , if a snake wont take dead prey , it is IMHO better to feed it live than to let it starve .

this is a debate that has gone on for many years among many snake owners and vets , and it still all boils down to the same thing . there are those who feel that feeding live is extremely dangerous , and there are those who feel the risks can be minimized by taking proper procedures to help insure the safety of their snakes .
 

Natemass

Arachnolord
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Sep 16, 2006
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first off i believe "markface" has a good point about not making the snake starve, but in a controlled situation like being in captivity why would you feed a snake something that you can not control. yes i work at petco, where many people believe in buying live, yes i tell them the riskes and show them our line of frozen rodents but many want to see the kill. many keep snakes mainly for this reason. "as its just soooo cool" all im saying is there is no need for a huge debate that will be debated probably forever. its america where people can basically do what they want, shoot up schools, get away with crimes and feed live rodents to snakes. just my little opinion.:D
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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Someone mentioned not using water to warm the mouse because it washes off the smell... the way I do it, I leave them out for a little while, then put them in a thin ziplock baggie and submerge it into a cup of hot water (not all the way, so no water leaks through the top). If I'm defrosting a rat, I change the water once, to make sure it gets warm all the way through. Works like a charm.

My ball python got scarred up pretty badly because I was stupid one day and wasn't paying attention and thought she had eaten her mouse when in fact it was hiding... though after that she quite happily switched to pre killed and then f/t.

I agree that feeding live should only be in circumstances where the snake refuses all other options.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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actually it's not the same at all
We don't need your credentials yet again. ;) I'm just saying, I think you missed my point. Just because it has not happened TO YOU is not really a good reason at all to say it isn't something to worry about. Humans are not faster than snakes or rodents, like avic_addict (who being a vet is more qualified than any of us) pointed out with that story. If something's going to go wrong, it will go wrong, and we aren't fast enough to stop it.

Also, your repeated argument about people who don't like to feed live letting snakes starve to death is a total straw man. Does anyone actually do that? Every community I've ever spent time on has had people feed live when they have to...while trying regularly to switch to pre-killed. There IS a middle ground, and unless you have actual proof that people are killing their pets this way, please stop bringing it up.
 

Midnightrdr456

Arachnoprince
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the washing away the scent thing is not what I've heard. I put them in ziplock bags because I dont like them soaking wet because it soaks the paper towels and leaves a slight odor. But every dealer i spoke to as well as all frozen feeder stores i purchase from says the wet smell actually increases the scent and is often recommended to try if the snake wont take f/t as a little extra incentive.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
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mushroom spoor , i'm not saying it isnt anything to worry about , i'm just saying that with the right precautions , the risks can be minimized .

i also stated that i prefer to feed f/t or p/k rodents to any snake that will take them . i only use live for snakes that refuse to take dead prey . yes i agree there is a good middle ground .

as i said , this is a debate that has been going on for years and probably will go on for many more to come .

oh , and sorry for overstating my experience with reptiles :D i didnt mean to offend anyone .
 
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