The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 06. Breeding biology of Python molurus molurus in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India


Open Access

pp. 157-163
Authors: Ramesh, Chinnasamy & Bhupathy, Subramanian

Abstract: We describe aspects of the breeding biology of free ranging Python molurus molurus based on observations during May–August 2008 in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India. For two females, the incubation period was 74 days, with a hatching success of 95%. All neonates dispersed on the fifth night from the date of first pipping. Incubating females did not feed, and abandoned the nests after 61 days, leaving them unattended for 11–13 days before hatching of eggs. Female pythons maintained a body temperature of 32.5±0.78 °C during incubation despite atmospheric temperatures varying between 9.7 °C above and 6.1 °C below this value. It appears that this was achieved by shivering thermogenesis, and changes in the coiling posture around the eggs; our data thus provide field-based evidence of facultative endothermy in this species. It is hypothesized that females leave the nest in order to facilitate the increased oxygen demand by embryos at late stages.


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