Do Ball Pythons Have Teeth? – Shape, Size & Potential Threats
When people think about snakes having teeth, they automatically think of these massive fangs hanging down from the top jaw. Well, this isn’t quite true for ball pythons. Or many other snakes for that matter. Fangs are only found on venomous snakes. Fangs are the ejection mechanism used by venomous snakes to stun their prey.
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Ball pythons on the other hand have very small, barb shaped teeth which are very sharp. Their teeth are slightly angled backwards, like the teeth on a wood saw. The reason for this is that ball pythons need to catch their prey before constricting it. And this can be difficult for an animal which can only use its mouth.
Their angled teeth give them a greater chance of success when latching onto its prey. The reason for this is because their teeth actually dig in further the more the prey tries to escape. Imagine a fish hook, they are specifically made to dig in further with every movement of the fish. Ball pythons have developed the same mechanic method for their own mouths. Making it almost impossible for its prey to get away once the python is latched on.
Obviously, snakes are known to digest their prey whole. So again, unlike humans, they don’t need teeth that have evolved for different uses. Ball pythons don’t chew, or rip their food. They only need teeth for catching their prey. Therefore all their teeth look the same, as they only have one use. This being latch on, and dig in further.
If your ball python ever mistakes your hand for prey and latches on, follow this link to see how to effectively release its grip.
How many teeth do ball pythons have?
How many teeth do ball pythons have you ask. Well, Ball pythons have on average thirty teeth. These sharp barb like teeth mainly line the top jaw, which consists of four rows, whist the bottom jaw only consists of two rows. The actual number of teeth they have depends on how big they are. Unlike humans, ball pythons don’t have an exact amount of teeth they can have. It’s all relevant to their size and age.
Smaller ball pythons tend to have less teeth compared to bigger pythons. However, they lose teeth quite frequently, but seem to have no end to its surplus, reproducing teeth through its whole life span.
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