Ball pythons (Python regius) are found at the edges of the forest lands of Central and Western Africa. They are equally comfortable on the ground and in trees. They are crepuscular, active around dawn and dusk. Called royal pythons in Europe, here in the United States we call them "balls" due to their habit of curling themselves up into a tight ball when they are nervous, their heads pulled firmly into the center. Like most pythons, ball pythons are curious and gentle snakes.
Ball pythons typically reach 4 feet (1.2 m) in length; occasionally there are specimens that reach 5 feet (1.5 m). When properly fed, their bodies become nicely rounded. Like all pythons and boas, ball pythons have anal spurs. These single claws appearing on either side of the vent are the vestigial remains of the hind legs snakes lost during their evolution from lizard to snake millions of years ago. Males have longer spurs than do the females; males also have smaller heads than the females.
Corns are commonly found in deciduous forests, pine barrens, rocky hillsides and farm areas over a broad swath of the United States including Missouri.
Corns are most active at night or in the hours of dawn and dusk (crepuscular). While they are primarily ground-dwellers, some are semi-arboreal. While the Elaphes feed on everything ranging from fish to frogs to rodents to mammals, wild Corns start off feeding on small invertebrates and vertebrates, such as crickets. Corns lay eggs, becoming sexually mature at around two years of age.
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