Skeleton of Indian Rock Python
Species: P. molurus
The Indian rock python skeleton consists of a 20 foot long. It has over 650 ribs and over 700 vertebrae. There is a tiny pair of rear legs are present adjacent to the anal region of the snake, a reminder that snakes were once 4-legged reptiles. The record size for an adult Indian python was about 21 feet (6.4 m) and most adult individuals are much smaller, rarely exceeding 12 feet (3.7 m). The extreme flexibility of the ribs allowing the snake to consume larger prey. The skull is relatively small, and the jaw bones are connected with flexible muscles that allowing the snake to eat prey that larger than the their mouth. The jaws are equipped with more than hundred backward curving teeth, arranged in 4 rows (2 rows each in upper and lower jaw) which grip the prey item. Towards the tail region the ribs shortens and disappears.
About the animal
Indian pythons are divided into two recognized subspecies, which can be distinguished by physical characteristics. Burmese pythons, P. molurus bivitatus, can grow to lengths of about 7.6 m (25 ft), and can weigh as much as 137 kg (300 lbs.). Indian pythons, P. molurus molurus, stays smaller, reaching a maximum of about 6.4 m (21 ft) in length, and weighing as much as 91 kg (200 lbs.). The hides of both subspecies are marked with a rectangular mosaic type pattern that runs the full length of the animal. P. molurus bivitatus is more darkly colored, with shades of brown and dark cream rectangles that lay over a black background. This subspecies is also characterized by an arrow-shaped marking present on the top of the head, which begins the pattern. P. molurus molurus has similar markings with light brown and tan rectangles placed over a typically cream background. P. molurus molurus only has a partial arrow-shaped marking on the top of the head. Each scale of P. molurus molurus is a single color.