python , name for nonvenomous constrictor snakes of the boa family, found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the S Pacific islands. Pythons climb and swim expertly. They kill the birds and mammals on which they feed by squeezing them in their coils. Unlike boas, pythons are egg layers. The female coils her body over the eggs for the six to eight week incubation period. The reticulated, or royal, python, Python reticulatus, of SE Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines is one of the largest snakes in the world and may reach a length of 30 ft (9 m) or more. It is often found in towns as well as in the forest. Pythons are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Boidae.
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