The coastal carpet python is a large constricting snake that is primarily found in parts of Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. The snakes are typically 9- to 10-feet (2.7 to 3 m) long, although they can occasionally reach a length of about 13 feet (4 m). Depending on its location, the color of the coastal carpet python can be pretty variable. They can range from a greenish color with yellowish spots to more of a gray color with dark spots. The snakes are often kept as pets, and they can potentially live for 30 years.
Generally speaking, the coastal carpet python likes to live in wooded areas, especially rainforests. Their coloring can help them blend in well with dead leaves, and they sometimes hide inside of hollowed out dead tree trunks. They are also found in floodplains and occasionally in less dense mountainous terrain. These snakes often come into fairly close contact with people, and they have even been found living inside the roofs of houses.
When it comes to eating, the coastal carpet python generally prefers to focus on small mammals. These include things like possums and mice. They also eat many smaller lizards, and occasionally, they are able to catch birds. They kill their prey by striking quickly, then wrapping around it and squeezing with powerful muscles until the animal loses its ability to breath. Once the animal is dead or incapacitated, the snake will swallow it whole, and its body can stretch to allow for eating animals that are fairly large.
The pythons lay about 30 eggs in a typical clutch, although it’s not unheard of for them to lay clutches as large as 50. The snake will wrap itself around the eggs and spends a lot of time keeping them warm until they hatch. This typically takes about 13 weeks. Once the infant snakes hatch, the mother leaves them to fend for themselves. As soon as they’re born, the snakes are already large enough to eat smaller mice.
People like using these snakes as pets partly because they are easy to care for, and partly because of their docility. When the snakes are young, they can be difficult to handle, and they have a greater chance of biting someone, but this tendency gradually abates. Most people who keep a coastal carpet python as a pet will usually feed it frozen rats, although some people prefer to use live rats. Many experts recommend caution when feeding the snakes because it’s possible for them to accidentally bite the handler in their eagerness for food.