- Common names: Timor python.
Timor pythons are a fairly long (7 + feet) but relatively thin python species from the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. Ironically, there are no known records of Timor Pythons from the Island of Timor. This probably stems from the misidentification of a Macklot's Python (Liasis mackloti) that is similar in appearance and DOES occur on that island. This is a very fast-moving, highly defensive snake that spends a great deal of time in the trees hunting for prey. Like many python species, Timor pythons have a series of heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and mouth used to find warm-blooded prey in total darkness. They are egg-layers, but instead of laying the eggs and leaving, they remain coiled around the clutch for the entire incubation period. This maternal incubation serves two purposes: protection of the eggs is one, and temperature regulation is the other. Through a series of twitches and contractions many python species can raise the temperature of their bodies by as much as eight degrees F. Loosening the coils and exposing the eggs to more air circulation does the opposite. This is a fairly remarkable achievement given that snakes are "cold-blooded", meaning that their body temperature is dictated by their surroundings.
Occurs in open forests and grasslands.
Captive specimens have been known to accept birds and small mammals.
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
- Rawlings LH, Rabosky DL, Donnellan SC, Hutchinson MN. 2008. Python phylogenetics: inference from morphology and mitchondrial DNA. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 93:603-619.
- Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
- "Python timoriensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=634786. Retrieved 21 September 2007.