Green Tree Python
This beautiful bright green snake spends almost its entire life in the treetops. Most functions - from eating and drinking to mating and egg laying - are performed off the ground. The green coloration gives good camouflage against the leaves, and the prehensile tail lets the snake cling firmly to branches. Green tree python will often wait, coiled around a branch and with its head hanging downwards, ready to pounce on passing birds. Vertical pupils make its eyes very sensitive to movement, and the scales around its mouth have heat-sensitive pits which pick up the body heat of animals to aid prey detection.
Masters of disguise: green tree pythons are virtually impossible to spot among the foliage when they are coiled motionless in a tree.
This species displays the body shape characteristic of pythons: a thick body with a small head, covered with many small scales. Eggs are usually laid in clutches of anywhere from 6-30, in holes in tree trunks. The green coloration of mature snakes is not present in the young, which tend to be bright yellow or occasionally red. They are hunted by birds of prey.
Distribution: Papua and Iran Jaya in New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula of Australia.
Habitat: Tropical forest.
Food: Birds are the main prey item.
Size: 1.8 - 2.4 m (6 - 8 ft).
Maturity: Over 12 years.
Breeding: Females lay clutches of 6 - 30 eggs in hollow tree trunks.
Life span: Unknown.