Geographical Range Western and central Africa
Habitat Cleared forests, dry bushlands, open grasslands, cultivated areas
Scientific Name Python regius
Conservation Status Not listed by IUCN

This snake gets its name from its habit of curling into a ball when it feels threatened. The ball python is one of the smaller species of pythons, reaching only about five feet in length. It lives on the ground, where it searches for small mammals, birds, lizards and even eggs to eat. Like all pythons, this animal kills its food by crushing it to death with its powerful coils.

The ball python is popular in the pet trade, primarily because of its small size and relatively long life.