Python owners comments solicited

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,649
Something I have been contemplating that could be of benefit if people familiar with pythons would lend their brain cells and experience.

When observing pythons. I mean CLOSELY observing, developing an affinity, empathizing. Pythons have a trigger point. A 'do not pass go' where they enter into nip/bite mode.

This trigger point diminishes with extended contact with the animal until the trigger seldom or even never gets touched.

But observing wild, untamed pythons, they all, to varying degrees, have a trigger point. A response threshold. It seems to me that python keepers willing to spend enough time could detect the signs, the minute or micro indications, body language, where that threshold could be identified and defined.

As an analogy, horses. Some time after I've been around a group of horses long enough to tell which horse is which at a glance, or even just from how a horse is acting in the dark in a group in a corral, I can pick up who is pissed off, who is spoiling for a fight, who has a -leave me alone- attitude and which ones are laid back and docile. It seems pythons of all animals might be the easiest to detect similar to those horses.

Comparisons. Rattlers. Knife edge threshold. Flight or fight and zero space between. Cobras, especially kings. A very high tolerance level which grows with affinity but again a knife edge. Cross the line and utterly unpredictable. Kraits. Their trigger threshold varies according to the time of day. Early morning it is EXTREMELY unusual for one to go nippy. Come 20:00 to 22:00, they start acting closer to a rattlesnake.

So it seems pythons would be the perfect subject for studying this and furthering our understanding of attitude of the animal by all those little signs, hints, and your empathy.
 

Toxoderidae

Arachnoprince
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,010
What I have seen with my ball python that's oldest (5y/o male) he has virtually no trigger point. I take him to my local park almost every day, and this lady came up to me, without asking if she could pet him, just started petting him, then grabbed his head. Rather than freaking out like every other snake I've kept, he just quickly coiled back and went towards me, a scent he trusts. The issue with commonly kept BPs is that they have such a high tolerance for people, or things in general, even in the wild. If I get a higher strung species that still has that python reputation of being calm (like a tree python or carpet python) I think that would be better for testing then say, a reticulated or a ball, ones that are extremely well known for how calm they are. Terrestrial pythons seem to be incredibly less high strung and with some, even the wild ones have virtually no trigger point. It would be interesting to ask someone who has kept multiple species of python, including larger ones, smaller ones, and arboreal ones.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,649
To explain and give an example. I go pull a horse out of the corral and lead it to the hitching rail. I may even walk it around a bit to pick up on more. In that 30 seconds to one minute period of time I can pick up on close to a dozen different moods it may have. Lazy, feisty, wary, reckless, sour, POed, skittish, feeling off, energetic, combative, calm+cooperative or calm+energetic and so on. It becomes a sixth sense affinity thing and with that communication the animal tells you how to work with it. And I seriously mean work WITH it. With horses you screw up the line up on the trail it can be an ongoing nightmare the whole trip. Get it down right and I can ride 100 yards nose or tail and not even have to do anything but watch their progress.
 

Hellblazer

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
134
I currently have 2 childrens pythons and a spotted python. I've found that they're body language is pretty easy to read. I can usually tell if I'm about to get bit when doing maintenance. I used to have about a dozen ball pythons, but it was pretty rare to get tagged by them. The few ball python bites I did have were quick release feeding responses. When one of the childrens pythons bites they don't want to let go.
 
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