Snakes are some of the most terrifying animals. They are actually quite fascinating once you learn their ways and understand their physiology and behavior.
So, let’s discuss that.
Today, we will dive into 10 of the largest constrictor snakes in the world to learn what makes them so feared, unique, and fascinating animals.
1. Reticulated Python
Reticulated pythons are mostly spread throughout South and Southeast Asia and rank as the longest snake in the world. This reptile can reach 22 feet in length and weigh up to 165 pounds as an adult.
The current population is unknown, but the predator is doing quite well for itself. Especially considering that reticulated pythons have a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild.
This ambush predator lives a solitary life and has virtually no natural predators due to its size, strength, and ferocity.
This species showcases a variety of colors and patterns, depending on the region and the subspecies. Most reticulated pythons showcase diamond shapes on their backs and colors like yellow, gold, olive green, and brown, among other nuances.
These colors mix with intricate patterns to help the snake blend in within its environment.
Reticulated pythons are very aggressive but not as active. They spend their time laying dormant on their favorite ambush spot and strike whenever their prey is nearby.
Their diet is varied, as reticulated pythons will kill anything that moves, with the prey sometimes being larger than they are.
It’s not uncommon for large pythons to hunt primates, pigs, and small cattle, whenever possible. The snake’s ambushing skills, chameleonic appearance, aggressive temperament, and obscene size and strength make it highly feared in the reptile world.
Fortunately, you can tell that the python is nearby because the snake will hiss when feeling threatened.
That’s because pythons don’t see humans as prey, but as predators, so they will make their presence known so you can leave on your own accord.
2. Green Anaconda
You just know you thought of anacondas the moment you read the article’s title. So, here you have it, the green anaconda, one of the world’s largest, heaviest, most powerful, and most frightening snakes.
While the snake’s appearance and size are nightmare-inducing features in their own right, the animal’s lifestyle casts an ominous shadow on the beast.
That’s because anacondas are semi-aquatic animals that can hunt underwater, similar to crocodiles. This semi-aquatic monster reaches 20 feet on average, with the largest specimens getting closer to 30 feet.
The body circumference is close to 13 inches, which is only fitting for a snake weighing close to 550 pounds.
The natural habitat of green anacondas comprises of the South American marshes and swamps, where the snake hunts and kills almost everything.
These anacondas can consume capybaras, antelopes, wild pigs, caimans, alligators, and even other predators like jaguars and cheetahs.
Anacondas live solitary lives but often come together for breeding purposes.
Anaconda balls, consisting of one female and close to a dozen males, are standard breeding techniques, as males all fight for the right to mate. The female will then give birth to up to 80 tiny anaconda babies.
This snake can live up to 10 years in the wild and close to 30 years in captivity, although this species isn’t really pet material. They are too large, difficult to keep and feed, and often illegal to own and breed.
Contrary to popular belief, anacondas don’t hunt humans specifically, but they won’t refuse an easy meal if it presents itself.
Many reports have been of people being killed and eaten by this monstrosity. So, if you’re not an elephant, rhino, or hippo, try to keep your distance.
3. Indian Python
Indian pythons aren’t as large as the previous 2 species but are equally as impressive and fascinating. These snakes can reach a little over 9-10 feet in length and weigh approximately 80-90 pounds when fully mature.
These values are highly contested, as there is conflicting information regarding the maximum size and weight. Unverified reports claim maximum lengths of 22 inches or more and weights of over 200 pounds.
Take everything with a grain of salt.
This species is widely spread throughout India and Southeast Asia, where they stalk their prey from the foliage. Indian pythons have powerful heads and jaws filled with curved teeth pointing at the back of the mouth.
This is a standard feature in all constricted snakes, as the teeth prevent the prey from escaping and guide it toward the throat.
These carnivorous snakes rank as terrestrial reptiles but are highly versatile and adaptable. They are excellent climbers and proficient swimmers, capable of remaining submerged for minutes when necessary.
They prefer to spend their time near the back, hunting for unsuspecting prey coming to drink.
Fortunately, Indian pythons are slow-moving and shy snakes that prefer to remain in hiding and avoid humans.
4. African Rock Python
African rock pythons are native to the drylands of Saharan Africa and can reach up to 13 feet in length, weighing more than 120 pounds.
Due to its arid and dull habitat, the rock python showcases equally bland colors like grey, light or dark brown, and yellow that help the snake blend in.
The python’s body shape and power are specific to constrictors with wide jaws, rectangle-shaped snouts, and muscular bodies. These ambush hunters are primarily nocturnal, spending their days in hiding or basking in the sun.
They are exclusively terrestrial and dig burrows to hide for resting and hunting purposes.
Few constrictor snakes are more aggressive than the African rock python. Sure, this snake will also signal its location via the specific hiss sound, but will often attack at the same time too.
Rock pythons rank as extremely aggressive, as they prefer to fight than flight. They possess a very powerful and painful bite and often constrict anything they deem dangerous, including humans.
And you don’t want to deal with a slippery and malicious 120-pound embrace from a rock python.
5. Amethystine Python
Amethystine pythons are native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea and rank as the largest Australian snakes and some of the largest snakes in the world.
They can reach 14 feet when fully grown and reach weights of up to 60 pounds. They are also quite handsome, despite their dull coloring.
Depending on the species, most specimens display nuances of brown, yellow, and grey with black or matching eye color. These ambush predators are slow and sluggish and spend their lives in trees for the most part.
However, adults are known to become more terrestrial with age, given that their size protects them better against predators.
They can also swim when necessary and will feast on numerous prey like birds, mammals, and other reptiles.
Amethystine pythons aren’t excessively aggressive, as they prefer to flee and hide when threatened. The snake’s calmer nature is what contributes to its popularity among python lovers, although you should never take this species for granted.
All pythons are feral animals that can act aggressively at times. And you don’t want to make a large python upset or scared.
6. Burmese Python
Burmese pythons are the staple among python species, ranking as the largest, most versatile, and most ferocious constrictor snake you can find.
These snakes can reach 20 inches in size and weigh approximately 200 pounds as adults. The hatchlings alone are around 24 inches when hatched, which is impressive in and of itself.
These animals can eat a variety of wild prey thanks to their size and strength. We include pigs, deer, and other larger mammals and reptiles among the standard meals.
In essence, Burmese pythons have no natural predators when adult, except from human-caused habitat destruction and poaching.
The python’s natural habitat spread throughout Southeast Asia and consists of various layouts like dry areas, open grasslands, and forests.
Despite their appearance and first impression, Burmese pythons are actually very docile.
This is why they rank so highly in the pet trade, despite their overwhelming size and care requirements. This species is unlikely to attack humans, as they prefer to hide at the first sign of trouble.
So, ignore the myths painting Burmese pythons as man-eaters.
7. Asiatic Rock Python
Asiatic rock pythons are common pretty much throughout the world, including Asia, Africa, and Australia. These rank as some of the largest carnivorous constrictors in the world, capable of reaching 25 inches and over 250 pounds as adults.
These snakes can also live more than 20 years in optimal conditions and prefer shady and wet areas dwelling places.
This species is easily recognizable by its light coloring and distinct pattern. Asiatic rock pythons combine light brown with white and yellow as background colors with splashes of dark brown all over the body.
Asiatic rock pythons aren’t too aggressive, which makes them great pets. The problem is that this species faces habitat destruction in many areas of the world, so they may not always be available for trade.
They are protected in Nepal because of that.
8. Boa Constrictor
Boa constrictors are also highly recognizable in the reptile trade since these snakes make great pets. Provided you have the room to house them properly, of course.
That’s because boa constrictors can reach 10 inches in size and up to 60 pounds in weight. This isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s quite an impressive size for a constrictor.
Some specimens have been reported to reach 100 pounds and over 13 feet in length.
There are currently 4 subspecies recognized as boa constrictors, each slightly different in appearance.
The snake can be found throughout Central and South America in areas like Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and more.
The behavior of boa constrictors varies wildly depending on the subspecies and the geographical area.
Central American boas are generally more irascible and aggressive, while South American ones are more docile. They make for great pets, so long as you provide them with ideal living conditions.
Keep in mind that boa constrictors tend to be more aggressive and unpredictable when shedding. This is due to them producing a lubricating substance that’s meant to separate the old skin from the new one.
The same substance affects their vision during the shedding process, causing the snake to use violence to make up for the poor sight.
9. Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow rat snakes are not your typical constrictors. They are considerably smaller than pythons and other constrictors, only reaching up to 90 inches in size.
Their appearance is also considerably different, as rat snakes are generally yellow with red eyes and tongues. Depending on the geographical area and normal genetic differences, they may show some color variation.
The snake’s name comes from its predilection towards consuming rodents, although they can consume a variety of other animals. These include birds, smaller reptiles, and other mammals, so long as they can swallow them.
Rat snakes hunt underground, searching for rodents in burrows, but can also climb trees at heights of up to 60 feet.
Yellow rat snakes aren’t particularly aggressive, as they prefer to flee when faced with threats. More importantly, these snakes have an actually beneficial relationship with humans due to their predilection towards consuming rodents.
This often brings them near barns, greeneries, and garages where their favorite preys lurk.
Given that rat snakes are not venomous and won’t attack humans, you’re better off leaving them be.
After all, the presence of the rat snake indicates that you might have a rat problem, and they’re there to clean it up.
10. Corn Snake
Corn snakes are some of the most colorful and docile constrictors you can find. They also make for great pets thanks to their easygoing attitude and adaptability, allowing them to thrive in captive conditions.
These snakes can reach 6 feet in length and live up to 20 years or more in ideal conditions.
Corn snakes showcase impressive color and pattern diversity with colors like red, white, yellow, brown, and red. Some species even display a color intensity gradient between the front and the back area of the body.
Corn snakes are also called red rat snakes if that reminds you of anyone. They are closely related to yellow rat snakes in terms of behavior, hunting preferences, and habitat.
You can find the majority of corn snakes in the eastern US, as well as the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, and Grand Cayman.
These snakes are highly popular in the reptile trade thanks to their chill temperament and predictable behavior.
It also doesn’t hurt that the corn snake isn’t too big, so it’s easier to accommodate it.
Constrictor snakes are nowhere near as dangerous as venomous ones but are equally fascinating. However, depending on the size, they can become just as deadly as today’s article has shown.
The most important takeaway is that snakes are generally more beneficial because they feed on animals that we generally consider as pests.
Plus, they’re unique creatures that also make for good pets in some cases. There’s no reason not to love them.