How small is the smallest python on earth?

2020-12-24 | Global Science Cat Original |

Recently, "Biology Letters" published a study stating that scientists have discovered the oldest fossils of pythons in history, which has aroused heated discussions. This is of great significance for scientific researchers to understand the origin of pythons. According to preliminary identificationThe results show that this python fossil is 48 million years old.

But the area discovered is in Germany, which is a bit difficult for many scientific researchers to understand. Nowadays, pythons are rarely seen in the southern hemisphere, and from the distribution of most pythons, most are located in the northern hemisphere.So it is difficult to understand whether it belongs to a native species in Germany, or is it imported from other regions, or whether the ecology of the earth before is suitable for the life of pythons. Of course, its origin is also the focus of future research.

But it is not ruled out that the python evolved in Europe. After all, it was found near an ancient lake in Germany, and the python is the main activity area in South and Central America, Madagascar and northern Oceania, including Africa, Southeast Asia and AustraliaIt is also the distribution point of pythons nowadays, so from the fossils of pythons found in Germany, there may be a transitional area in the distribution of pythons in Germany, or in history, the evolutionary history of pythons has also appeared in Europe, but now it seems veryIt’s rare. Indeed, most of the pythons we see today are in the northern hemisphere, and huge python incidents are rarely heard in the southern hemisphere.

However, the discovery of this python may also be a new species. Now scientists first named it "Messelopython freyi". According to data analysis, the python is only 1 meter long, which is more than modernThe 6-meter python is much smaller, so it may be a species that has not been seen before, but the specific results have yet to be seen. From the published fossil images, we can also see that the python was disturbed for several times when it died.It’s not small at the top. This is what the whole python found. Now let’s understand the basic situation of the python. The python is a non-venomous snake. The entire python family has 41 species, so the population is very large.

The python includes the largest snake in the world. For example, the reticulated python Python reticulatus can reach more than 9 meters, and the Amazon anaconda can reach more than 10 meters, but the smallest snake is also included, that is, "Antaresia perthensis""The longest is 61 centimeters, so it is called the smallest python in the world, or the smallest python on the earth. The distribution, size, and life span of different types of pythons are different, but pythons have a commonality., That is, it has the characteristics of devouring animals, which is completely "slowly swallowing a living body", so pythons are actually not terrible, but the larger pythons or some of the ways of swallowing food are frightening.

Different pythons may lack food. Smaller pythons mainly feed on rodents, lizards and small birds, while large pythons can devour mammals as large as monkeys, wallabies, antelopes and pigs. At the same time, pythons are generalThe situation will not attack people, only under special conditions. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" once reported that large netted pythons attacked humans. This is the general situation, so on the whole, the pythons are still considered to beA relatively docile species. Although pythons are scary, the population of pythons is also declining rapidly because of its high value.

According to scientific statistics, from 2002 to 2012, the number of python populations in certain areas in Southeast Asia has dropped by 80% during the 10 years from 2002 to 2012. The main reason is that the loss of habitat is the most serious, and human hunting is also very serious.For example, eating snake meat, buying and selling snake skins, etc., all put pythons on the brink of extinction. Although we say that Southeast Asia can be regarded as the area with the largest python population, it is now quite rare in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam., Is the hunting and killing of humans, the habitat destruction is very severe, so this directly reduces one of the reasons for the species population.

In general, the global ecosystem is very unstable nowadays, and the number of various biological populations has decreased, so it is not only the python population, for example, tigers and leopards are also rare in the worldAt the same time, insects are declining faster, which shows that humans have a great impact on biological populations. Therefore, in the future, we should increase the protection of various creatures, so that biological populations can maintain a balance and stable development. Then we humansIt will also benefit from the ecological environment, which are all mutual.

Special statement

This article was uploaded and published on Baidu Know Daily from the media, the author, etc. It only represents the author's views, and does not mean that Baidu knows the views or positions of the daily, and knows that the daily only provides an information publishing platform. For cooperation and contributions, please contact

+1 Like it Like

Follow the author

Global Science Cat
Science and technology, knowledge, and research results are popularized.

Know the popular articles in daily newspapers e-mail: