Python molurus is carnivorous. Its diet consists mostly of live prey. Its staples are rodents and other mammals. A small portion of its diet consists of birds, amphibians, and reptiles. When looking for food P. molurus will either stalk prey, ambush, or scavenge for carrion. These snakes have very poor eyesight. To compensate for this, the species has a highly developed sense of smell, and heat pits within each scale along the upper lip, which sense the warmth of nearby prey. Indian pythons kill prey by biting and constricting until the prey suffocates. Prey items are then swallowed whole. To accomplish the feat of swallowing the prey, P. molurus molurus dislocates its jaw and stretches its highly elastic skin around the prey. This allows these snakes to swallow food items many times larger than thier own heads. In cases of scavenging there is no constriction of the prey (Murphy and Henderson 1997, Woodland Park Zoo 2000).
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles; carrion
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates)